I’m coming back bigger, stronger – Samson Siasia vows after FIFA ban
Former Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia has promised to come back bigger and stronger after his five-year FIFA ban ends in August 2024.
Siasia, an ex-Super Eagles star, who won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), was banned by the world football governing body, FIFA, from all football activities for life in August 2019 and fined 50,000 Swiss Francs after he was allegedly found guilty of accepting an offer to receive bribes in order to alter the outcome of matches.
Siasia’s suspension was the result of an extensive investigation into matches in which convicted Singaporean serial match-fixer Wilson Perumal was involved.
After his successful appeal, the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) reduced Siasia’s life ban to five years and also dismissed the 50,000 Swiss Francs he had been ordered to pay.
The CAS panel concluded that a life sentence was “disproportionate for a first offence committed passively and with no adverse or immediate effect on football stakeholders.”
Siasia admitted that the FIFA ban broke him as he had only known football for three-quarters of his life, whether as a player or coach.
“I was actually doing well as a coach. And out of nowhere, bang, it hit me like a slug to my chest, and it broke me down. I wasn’t prepared for it and it just kind of messed up everything. there is a reason why things happen, but this reason was just unbelievable. They accuse you of something that actually never happened. It’s very painful. And then ban you for life for what you did not do. There’s no proof to that effect. But all the same, it’s almost over,” Siasia said in an interview with AfricaInterviews.
“There’s no proof to that. When you talk about corruption, is it not when money exchange hands and all that? There was nothing. There’s no video, no evidence of any wrongdoing. Just because I was talking to a match fixer, does it make me a match fixer? No. That was the most annoying part of it.
“It’s 2024, it is almost over. So, I just need to build again, to be strong moving forward. I was doing very well as a coach before this ban hit me. But it’s almost over, and I’m coming back bigger and stronger.”
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