The Nigeria Football Federation has set up a team of lawyers to review the life ban sanction imposed on former Nigeria player and coach Samson Siasia by the FIFA Ethics Committee.
FIFA in a statement on Friday said the adjudicatory chamber of its Ethics Committee found that Siasia was “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.’’
The football world governing body subsequently announced a life ban on Siasia “from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level” and fined him CHF 50,000 (41,997.1 pounds).
On Monday, the NFF broke its silence, saying that it has reached out to the ex-international and former U-20, U-23 and Super Eagles head coach.
A statement by the NFF quoted the NFF 2nd vice president, Seyi Akinwunmi, who is also a lawyer of more than three decades, as expressing shock over the suspension of Siasia.
He said, “The NFF was shocked to learn of the investigation and subsequent decision by the FIFA Ethics Committee (Adjudicatory Chamber) placing a life ban on Siasia. But we have however now received documents, including one known as the Motivated Decision, and we have handed them to our lawyers to study and provide legal advice to the Federation.
“It is a massive sanction on one of our legends. Siasia is a fooball legend but most importantly he is a Nigerian. We must therefore be interested in the matter and be properly advised.
“Siasia gave his all for Nigeria, playing for the U20 team right from his secondary school days and then for the senior team for several years, and also coaching the U20 and U23 teams and the Super Eagles.
“While we respect the FIFA processes and appreciate that an investigation was conducted prior to the decision, the least we as a Federation can do is empathise with him at this time, make ourselves available to him and hope that in some way he is able to clear his name as he has promised to do.”
Though Siasia denied knowledge of the investigation, evidences surfaced online showing that he was earlier contacted via his electronic mail.
Video evidences also showed Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal, who FIFA has called a ‘known match fixer’ testifying to fixing Nigeria matches, with pictures of him and Siasia.