Does Siasia owe Nigerian fans an apology after misconduct verdict?
While Samson Siasia continues to express disappointment at being deserted by Nigerian football stakeholders in what has been the toughest period in his football career, many fans have suggested that an apology from the disgraced former Super Eagle will be ideal.
Recall, the former Super Eagles coach was handed a lifetime ban and slammed with a 50,000 dollars fine for bribery related infractions by FIFA. This punishment has now been trimmed down to just a 5 year ban and no fine by CAS following a partially successful appeal by Siasia and his legal team.
The former Super Eagles coach had been hoping for a full vindication but CAS acknowledged wrongdoing on the part of Siasia and thus mainly addressed the severity of FIFA’s initial penalty.
Still, Siasia showed gratitude to CAS by stating afterwards: “I want to thank CAS for their judgment which has given me hope to return back to what I know how best to do.
I’m happy I’m gradually out of the hook, because in a couple of years I will go back to what I know how best to do.”
That said, Siasia is still disgruntled about how he feels he was abandoned by friends and football officials whilst going through this travail.
“I don’t know what I did to them even when I wasn’t guilty of what I was accused of,” said Siasia.
So, will he now apologize as requested or suggested by many fans in comment boxes on this article? I don’t think so.
Siasia still feels that the nature of his correspondence with the match fixer was nothing out of the ordinary.
Stating his own version of the events, Siasia said: “It was on one fateful day in 2009 when I was going through my email and I came across this email from an unknown source. In the email, they said ‘we have a coaching position in Australia,' asking, 'would you want the job?’ I didn’t have to think twice before I said yes.
I got interested because it was Australia, I played there. So we started this email back and forth, exchanging correspondences and on. We discussed players and how much he was going to pay and all that.
It was a normal football discussion when one wants to get a job and nothing more. I never met the person one on one.” He concluded.
So, Siasia still maintains his innocence and hopes one day to fully clear his name. There are no signs of any “apologies” coming out of his lips.
“How then am I guilty?” Siasia asks. “The job I did not get, no player went anywhere, so how did I fix matches? That is why I want to clear my name. I am innocent.”
On whether and when he will appeal CAS’ verdict, Siasia said: “If I’m going to go for appeal, we have to be sure of what will come out of it.
I don’t want to think or talk about how much has been spent. If I have to appeal to CAS, I’m going to cough out at least 100,000 euros,” he explained.
Samson Siasia played for and also coach the Super Eagles of Nigeria in his hitherto illustrious career in football. This bribery scandal has sadly tarnished his reputation.