Sports Minister, Hon Sunday Dare, has responded to a claim by Samson Siasia, former Super Eagles player and coach, that the ministry abandoned him during his life ban from football activities.
While reacting to his reduced ban, Siasia said that the FG, former teammates and sports ministry all abandoned him during the period of the life ban.
In his response 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.
Siasia had disclosed that the Nigerian government and the Sports ministry all abandoned him during his life ban ordeal.
In 2019, Siasia was banned for acceding to fix matches in exchange for a bribe. But Siasia denied the allegations, appealing FIFA sanctions.
Earlier in the week, we reported how Siasia’s life ban from football was reduced to a five-year ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). A fine of CHF 50,000 (US$50,000) imposed by FIFA on Mr Siasia as part of the sanctions was also “set aside”.
“And the minister called me and said, ‘coach, I know about your problem, but we don’t have money,” Siasia told journalists in Abuja on Friday.
“That was it.
”During my playing days, I had the option to play for the American national team but I choose to represent Nigeria,” he said.
“The American government or even the British government wouldn’t have abandoned me the way Nigeria did,” I’m really disappointed.