A distraught looking Samsom Siasia has made a video appealing for financial support from Nigerians to help him mount an appeal against the lifetime ban handed to him last August by FIFA.
The former Super Eagles midfielder and coach was hit with a lifetime ban from all football-related activities and fined CHF 50,000 (about N18,000,000).
FIFA had found him guilty of breaching the world football governing body’s Code of Ethics by accepting to receive “bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches” as coach the of Super Eagles.
Siasia was however handed a reprieve by the Court of Arbitration for Sport who gave him leave to appeal the ban with the sports adjudicatory body also granting him an extension when he failed to raise the CHF 100,000 about (N36,000,000) before the10 October 2019 deadline.
The 1996 Olympic gold-winning medallist has since struggled to raise the funds required despite numerous public appeals before this latest intervention.
Clad in a green jacket and directly addressing the camera, a sombre-looking sombre Siasia introduced himself before launching into a heartfelt appeal at “all well-meaning and sports-loving Nigerians” to help him raise the €200,000 (N80,300,650) needed for his appeal.
“I’m coming to you in a very difficult time in my life and career I need to raise the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand euros,” Siasia, who won bronze as coach of Nigeria’s U23 side at the 2016 Olympics said in the video.
“That’s a lot of money, so, I’m appealing to all well-meaning Nigerians, the sports-loving Nigerians to come to my aid for me to use these funds to defend myself against FIFA,” Siasia said.
“We have this calculation if 200 thousand people can give five hundred thousand naira, I think we should be able to reach our target.”
The former Nigeria under-20 coach handled the Super Eagles twice from 2010 to 2011 and in 2016, on both occasions failing to qualify the country for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012 and 2017 respectively.
A member of Nigeria’s AFCON-winning squad in 1994, Siasia also played 51 times for the Super Eagles, scoring 16 goals in the process.