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The minister for youth and sports development, Sunday Dare has rejected the claim of former Nigerian coach, Samson Siasia that the Nigerian government abandoned him after his life ban from football activities.
Siasia, 53, was in 2019 sanctioned to a life ban from football-related activities by Fifa for agreeing to match “receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches.”
The sanction was however reduced to five years after Siasia appealed against the ban in the Court of Arbitration as he denied the charges against him.
However, the sanction was reduced significantly reduced to a five-year ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).
Following his significantly reduced punishment, Siasia alleged that he had been abandoned by his former teammates and the Nigerian government all through his trials.
“The most disappointing moments were when your colleagues that you played with never called you to ask you how you’re doing. Even the legend games – I don’t know what FIFA ban had to do with legend games – they don’t even invite me or put me amongst whatever they are doing. So I’m very disappointed with that,” he had said.
“The minister for sports came in few weeks after my ban. And the minister called me and said, ‘coach, I know about your problem, but we don’t have money.’”
Reacting to the abandonment claim of Siasia on Monday, Dare said Siasia “was not telling the truth” while alleging that he received “cash” from the ministry.
The minister also claimed that the federal government “will come out with the facts” that show the ministry helped the former Super Eagles forward through those turbulent times.
“Siasia is not telling the truth, and the ministry and the FG will come out with the facts. Of the cash he collected, of the efforts we made. He is not telling the truth,” he said.