Former Super Eagles’ Chief Coach Samson Siasia on Wednesday in Abuja said he has appealed against the life ban slammed on him by world football governing body FIFA.
Siasia told newsmen that his lawyers filed the appeal to FIFA on Aug. 27, while another appeal was filed with the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) on Aug. 29.
He however denied any involvement in any illegal act, such as match-fixing, saying he was well aware they are contrary to the ethics of the football sport.
“I wish to state that I have never been and would never be a party to any form of unethical conduct or perversion in the discharge of my duties in any capacity.
“I built my career in the football industry on the foundation of hard work, integrity, consistency and God.
“In all my career, I have done nothing but serve my country and clubs to the best of my personal and professional ability, with all my strength and might, with discipline, pride and passion and an awareness that it is a privilege to be an ambassador of our great nation.
“It is my greatest hope and belief that my country also stands by and with me at a time like this,” the former Super Eagles forward said.
The former player of French side Nantes and KSC Lokeren in Belgium said the entire proceedings and decision were only brought to his notice on Aug. 16.
“That was when the news broke in the public domain and friends and family started to call. I was totally unaware of the proceedings until I heard about FIFA’s decision.
“While I may not be able to publicly divulge the details and specifics, of the appeal, I think it fit to inform you that I have appealed against FIFA’s Decision and you all will probably hear the results like you heard about the ban.
“I am currently taking legal advice. My lawyer, Austin Otah, has been liaising with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and its counsel,” he said.
Siasia who also played for Nigeria at the youth level then exptessed his gratitude to all Nigerians.
“I thank everyone who has supported me in one way or the other. I must state that this is the most trying period of my life.
“I am still dealing with the pains and challenges of my mother being kidnapped again and fighting to secure her release.
“I urge the nation to support me with prayers, goodwill and support of all kind. The demands are very heavy,” he said, struggling to control a surge of emotions.
Otah also reacted on the appeal.
“We have actually assisted Siasia to file his appeal and we are awaiting FIFA to acknowledge the receipt of the appeal. We are awaiting feedback from FIFA and CAS.
“The FIFA decision requires Siasia to appeal to CAS. We are exploring an internal appeal mechanism, and this will exceptionally be with the Appeal Committee of FIFA.
“But, that notwithstanding, we are still to ensure that his appeal rights are not impeded in anyway”, Otah disclosed.(NAN)