Former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia has openly expressed his disappointment with President Muhammadu Buhari’s government for the nonchalant attitude they have chosen in the match-fixing allegations against him.
Siasia believes if he had done all he did in the past for a country like Britain of the United States, he would not be left alone by those country’s government to solely face an institution like FIFA.
The ex-Nigeria coach blasted the Minister of Youth and Sports Sunday Dare who he described as being a coward not to have told Buhari to mobilize support for him as one of the country’s living legends.
“This my issue is a government problem but up till today, we know Buhari is the President. The Minister of Sports when he came in, I met him, he told me he knew about my problem but they don’t have money and that was it. I thought what he would have done is go to the President. I am a legend, I have played, broke my leg for this country and also coached. If I played for America – yes I have an American passport but I played for Nigeria – if I was like Michael Jordan, they (American government) would take it upon themselves. The Nigerian government has not done well when it comes to my case,” Siasia said at a press conference in Abuja.
“I am not happy, I don’t know if Buhari does not watch TV or does not know what is going on, or the minister is afraid to approach him. He is a person, you can approach him if things like this happen,” he added.
Siasia believes many ex-internationals have been neglected by the country.
“Now they said they gave us houses after 27 years, are we supposed to be jumping up,” Siasia said, referring to the recent announcement by the federal government that houses promised to the victorious Super Eagles squad of 1994 will now be redeemed. Siasia was a member of that squad that won the African Nations Cup.
Though livid with the Nigerian government’s disposition to his case, Siasia is grateful for the CAS ruling that upturned his fine and reduced his life ban.
He said: “In the bible, it says in all things we need to give thanks. So, I want to thank God for the reverse of my life ban to five years and also the fine (50,000 Swiss Francs) which was reversed. Sincerely whether ban or release, I cannot afford that kind of money but I thank CAS for that.
“I read in some papers that I wasn’t pleased with what CAS has done for me, that is not true. If not for CAS, I do not think I was going to get any chance returning back to sports. So, reducing the life ban to five years is worth celebrating,” he added.