Nigerian coaches in race to save Samson Siasia
Some coaches in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) may have risen to the challenges being faced by former Super Eagles Coach Samson Siasia, who is in need of financial support to appeal the life ban placed on him by FIFA for bribery allegations.
Siasia, who is the most decorated African football coach at the Olympics, winning silver at the Beijing 2008 and a bronze at Rio 2016 Games, had been running from pillar to post in search of money to pay a sum of Swiss Francs 100,000 (N36.4m) legal fees for the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to look into his case.
He was earlier given a deadline of October 10, 2019 to raise the money, but CAS decided to shift it forward after Siasia failed to gather enough money. His appeal to top Nigerian politicians and businessmen to come to his rescue has not yielded good results.
It is believed in some quarters that the sensitive nature of the case may have made it difficult for the NFF and many Nigeria professional players, including those who worked with him at the U-20, U-23, and Super Eagles’ level to come to his rescue openly.
However, some local coaches in the NPFL have decided to take the bull by the horn. Warri Wolves’ technical adviser, Evans Ogenyi, said yesterday in Umuahia, Abia State that Nigerian coaches were doing something very concrete to help Siasia come out of his present predicament, referring to him as a professional colleague.
“As our professional colleague, we must rally round him,” Ogenyi stated. “Even the NFF have said that they cannot come out in the open to assist him, because of the technical nature of the case.
“Even if you want to assist, you must do that behind the scene. I can assure you that Nigerian coaches will assist him. We are doing something very solid to help him out and make sure he comes out of that quagmire,” Ogenyi stated.
It will be recalled that Siasia was given a lifetime ban from all football events by FIFA last year, after it established that the Nigerian received bribes in manipulation of matches.
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