As the March 19, 2020 date for former Super Eagles’ Chief Coach Samson Siasia’s Appeal at Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) approaches, the former International reiterates he did not collect any bribe to fix any match and that he only negotiated negotiated terms after being headhunted by someone who approached him for a coaching job.
He never knew and could not have known the man was involved or convicted for match-fixing. He has not seen or heard from the man since the cancelled negotiations back in April 2010 until he read about his life ban by FIFA in the media last August.
Siasia was banned for life by world football governing body FIFA in August 2019 August 2019 on the accusation that he agreed to receive bribes and for match fixing.
“In its decision, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Siasia had breached art. 11 (Bribery) of the 2009 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics and banned him for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level,” part of the FIFA statement read.
FIFA say the proceedings against Siasia stemmed from an ‘extensive investigation into matches that’ a certain Wilson Raj Perumal attempted to manipulate for betting purposes.
Although the specific game was not mentioned by FIFA, Perumal, a confessed match-fixer from Singapore had claimed in his book that he helped Nigeria to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
“It is clear that Fifa relied only on some emails about 10 years ago when I was approached for a possible coaching job and not for match fixing or bribery as FIFA claimed they banned me for life for.
“It is clear that I was falsely accused of match fixing. Despite not fixing any match and despite not receiving any money FIFA insisted on banning me for life just for being approached to take up a coaching job.”
The former Super Eagles Coach claimed he was negotiating for a coaching job with someone who contacted him for the job. It so happened that this man had been convicted for match fixing. But Siasia didn’t know that the man was convicted for match fixing.
FIFA assumed that Siasia knew him and was discussing match fixing. The former Eagles’ Coach however was only discussing the terms for the job according to him.
The lawyers representing Siasia are now seeking justice in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and their prayers are: To lift the ban, quash the fine and reinstate the Appellant’s Status in football and his costs ameliorated.
The embattled Coach has thanked some concerned Nigerians who stood up to help him so far and those who have been encouraging him not to lose hope in his fight to clear his name in the bribery and match the fixing allegations. He also solicited for financial support to be able to attend the appeal.