Samson Siasia, former Super Eagles and Olympic Eagles coach, has revealed that his FIFA suspension from football-related activities will expire in 2024.
Siasia, who led the U-20 Flying Eagles to silver at the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup in the Netherlands and an Olympic silver medal in 2008, said that while he had expected his five-year ban to end this year, a careful examination of the documents (pertaining to his ban) revealed that he would return to football next year.
“I thought I was going to be free by this year (2023), and I was so excited,” Siasia stated on Kennis 104.1FM.
“But I had to read the document that FIFA gave me, and I discovered that it was going to be next year.”
“I hope to be back in football by next year, in August 2024, when I will be free of the FIFA ban.”
Siasia went on to say that the years without him playing football have been dreadful. He stated that, despite the length of the suspension, he has been planning to recover from the setback.
“Regardless of what happened, I have learned my lessons,” he said. “However, FIFA, which initially banned me from football for life, was unable to prove anything wrong with what they claimed I did.” However, they were forced to lower it to a five-year restriction, which would expire next year. That is something I thank God for.
“It’s been terrible being away from football for five years, but I’m preparing to come back to football, so I need to prepare so I can start ‘running’ once I resume next year.”
The former Super Eagles of Nigeria coach has been barred from all football-related activity for attempting to rig international matches.
After a thorough examination into different international matches that Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal, a convicted match-fixer, attempted to control for betting purposes, the world football’s regulatory body announced the launch of disciplinary procedures.
“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 bribes in relation to match manipulation in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” FIFA said in a statement.
Although the ban was initially announced to be life-long, it was lowered to five years when Siasia filed a partial appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sports, CAS.
Managerial Timeline for Siasia
Samson Siasia, from Bayelsa State, was a former Super Eagles striker who played in the 1994 FIFA World Cup in America.
In 1992, he was also a member of the side that won AFCON Bronze in Senegal.
He was named national Olympic Eagles (U-23 coach) in 2007. In addition, the U-23 team won the inaugural Intercontinental Cup in Malaysia in 2008.
In the same year, he led the Olympic Eagles to the Summer Olympics finals, where he won a silver medal after losing to Argentina.
On March 17, 2009, he was reappointed as the Flying Eagles’ head coach, succeeding Isah Ladan Bosso, who finished third in the 2009 African Youth Championship.
After the Super Eagles’ disastrous World Cup performance, Siasia was chosen national team coach to succeed Swedish Lars Lagerbäck on November 4, 2010.
He was fired, however, in October 2011 for failing to lead the Super Eagles to the 2012 African Nations Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
He was designated Chief Coach of the Nigeria national team by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on February 26, 2016, and was assisted by Salisu Yusuf, Emmanuel Amunike, and Alloysius Agu after Sunday. Oliseh resigned from his role as Head Coach.
When things became rough, he returned to the Olympic Eagles (U-23) role in 2015 and led Nigeria to the Rio Olympics, where he won a bronze medal with the team in the football event.
In addition to his role as head coach of the Under 23 Olympic Eagles, he founded the SiaOne Soccer Academy in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.