By Albert Akota
Dutch coach who assisted Samson Siasia to prosecute the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup finals in the Netherlands and the Olympic Eagles’ Beijing 2008 campaign Simon Kalika has labelled the life ban slammed on the Nigerian coach by FIFA as ‘strange decision’ and urges his former boss to seek justice at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).
FIFA announced a life ban of Siasia for allegedly agreeing to receive bribe and assist a betting baron Mr. Wilson Raj Perumal who attempted to manipulate matches for betting purposes, and also fined the former Super Eagles coach CHF 50, 000 ($51,000).
Kalika faulted FIFA for not following known procedure and as well as not being specific on the alleged offence of the ex-Nigeria forward.
“I haven’t spoken to Samson (Siasia) for quite a while now.
But I’ve just heard and read of the ban slammed on him by FIFA on football related matters as well as monetary sanctions,” Kalika said.
“For me, its a strange decision by FIFA. It’s strange and ridiculous because no details were provided by FIFA as regards when the alleged offence was committed.
“There was no clear mention of the year, month or even the match in question or even the player/agent through whom Siasia allegedly committed the footballing offence.
“I find it stranger because, FIFA used to inform the alleged offender and also his federation, (NFF in this case).
“Siasia I know is a coach who gives young players chance in the national team.
“This is the more reason this decision by FIFA came to me like a bolt from the blues.”
Kalika assisted Siasia in the Flying Eagles to win silver medal at the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Holland following 2-0 defeat to Lionel Messi inspired Argentina in the final, and also to win silver medal with the U-23 Eagles at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
He reasons that match fixing is a serious allegation and as such, Siasia should seek all legal avenues to clear his professional image and personal integrity, even if it means taking such case to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Laousane, Switzerland.
“Yeah, Siasia has name and integrity. I don’t know what is in his mind at the moment.
“But, if you ask me, going to the court of Arbitration for Sports, CAS, won’t be out of place.
“If that is what has to be done to prove his innocence, it’sokay.” Siasia, 52, was capped 51 times by Nigeria and scored 16 goals.
He was part of the Super Eagles team that won the Africa Cup of Nations in1994 in Tunisia and featured in Nigeria’s first ever FIFA World Cup finals in the USA the same year.