Monday Aug 19, 2019. 09:15
Nigerian football legend Samson Siasia has vowed to clear his name after he was handed a lifetime ban by world governing body FIFA last week.
The 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner and former youth national teams coach was found guilty of “having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics” according to a statement issued on Friday 16 August.
However, the 52-year-old vehemently denies any wrongdoing and insists he will prove his innocence.
“I’ve not done anything wrong and will continue to fight to clear my name,” Siasia told BBC Sport.
“Everything is now in the hands of my legal team.”
A subordinate of the former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) official, Prince Opukiri Jones-Ere, believes the legal team will carefully consider their approach in response to the ban.
“The coach was unable to address the press [on Saturday] as planned because he’s undergoing a lot of stress,” Jones-Ere said.
“His lawyers are studying the ruling and will make an official statement in a few days.”
Siasia’s status as a legend of the game in Nigeria was sealed by being part of the 1994 AFCON winning squad. His international career included 51 appearances and 16 goals.
As a coach, he guided Nigerian junior teams to second-place finishes at the 2015 U-20 World Cup and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.