FORMER Super Eagles head coach and midfielder Samson Siasia has been banned from all footballing activities for life by world governing body Fifa after being found guilty of collecting bribes and match fixing.
This afternoon, Fifa handed down the stiff sentence on Siasia after it opened disciplinary proceedings against him following an investigation into various international matches that Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal, a convicted match-fixer, had attempted to manipulate for betting purposes. Siasia, 52, was found guilty of colluding with Mr Perumal to fix international matches.
A Fifa spokesman said: “The adjudicatory chamber of the independent ethics committee has found Mr Samson Siasia, a former official of the Nigeria Football Federation, 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 formal ethics proceedings against Mr Siasia were initiated on 11 February 2019 and stem from an extensive investigation into matches that Mr Wilson Raj Perumal attempted to manipulate for betting purposes.
“This large-scale investigation was conducted by Fifa via its competent departments and in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders and authorities. In its decision, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Siasia had breached Article 11 (bribery) of the 2009 edition of the Fifa Code of Ethics and banned him for life from all football-related activities at both national and international level.
“In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF50,000 has been imposed on Mr Siasia. The decision was notified to Mr Siasia today, the date on which the ban comes into force.”
Siasia, a former international won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria, for whom he played over 50 times, scoring 16 goals. He was then manager of the Nigerian 2008 Olympic team and then head coach of Super Eagles between 2010 and 2011 and for a brief spell again in 2016.
A member of Nigeria’s 1994 World Cup team, during which he scored a goal against Argentina, Siasia is the third African to be banned by Fifa for his links to Mr Perumal. Former Sierra Leone Football Association official Abu Bakarr Kabba and former Botswana official Mooketsi Kgotlele were suspended in July for five years and for life respectively.
A product of the Nigerian youth team, Siasia first made his mark in the Nigerian U20 team before joining the senior team. He came through the ranks initially playing for St Finbarrs College, Lagos when he dazzled in the Lagos State Principals Cup.
During an illustrious playing career, he featured for Nantes in France and was a regular in the Super Eagles. He also had good stint as a coach managing both the Nigeria U23 and senior teams.