…,..Seek review of sanction
Organisers of the Restoration Cup in Bayelsa State have backed their Brand Ambassador, Coach Samson Siasia, saying FIFA was unfair to the former Nigerian international and coach of the Super Eagles.
They called on the world football governing body to reconsider the ban placed on him.
The Restoration Cup organisers in a press release by the Director General, Mr. Ono Akpe, and the Tournament Director, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said having reviewed the sanctions imposed on the respected coach, they consider the action of FIFA as amounting to shaving a man’s hair in his absence.
“If FIFA truly believes in fair play that it preaches, then it ought to have given Siasia the opportunity to defend himself over the allegations. You cannot preach what you do not practice. FIFA violated its most important principle in the case of Siasia. Without fair play, whatever it has against Siasia, who is our Brand Ambassador, falls flat on its face,” they averred.
The organisers of the biggest grassroots football tournament in Nigeria wondered why the investigation was shrouded in secrecy and that the world needed to know those who allegedly implicated the coach.
“If he was involved and implicated in under the table deals, the football public and Siasia himself needed to know those who accused him of such criminal misdeed.
“What is even more worrisome is the life ban from engaging in any football activity. If the coach does not work, how will he pay the fine imposed on him? Where does FIFA expect Siasia to get money to clear the fine without a job?
“It amounts to double jeopardy to sanction a man and then prevent him from working. This is like using the sledge hammer on an ant. In Africa, you do not flog a child and expect him not to cry.”
The duo called on the NFF, former Super Eagles players and football stakeholders to fight against the injustice done to Siasia while urging him to seek redress at the Court of Arbitration in Sports if FIFA fails to review the sanction.