The Nigeria Football Federation has disclosed that its lawyers have started to review the decision against former Nigeria player and coach Samson Siasia by the FIFA Ethics Committee, which on Friday announced that it had placed a life ban from all football-related activities on Siasia.

Acting President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Seyi Akinwunmi, himself a lawyer of more than three decades at the bar, said on Monday that the Federation had already reached out to the former U20, U23 and Super Eagles head coach and is aware that he is receiving appropriate legal advice.

“The NFF was shocked to learn of the investigation and subsequent decision by the FIFA Ethics Committee (Adjudicatory Chamber) placing a life ban on Mr. Samson Siasia. But we have however now received documents, including one known as the Motivated Decision, and we have handed them to our lawyers to study and provide legal advice to the Federation.

“It is a massive sanction on one of our legends. Siasia is a football legend but most importantly he is a Nigerian. We must therefore be interested in the matter and be properly advised.”

Akinwunmi added: “Siasia gave his all for Nigeria, playing for the U20 team right from his secondary school days and then for the senior team for several years, and also coaching the U20 and U23 teams and the Super Eagles.

“While we respect the FIFA processes and appreciate that an investigation was conducted prior to the decision, the least we as a Federation can do is empathise with him at this time, make ourselves available to him and hope that in some way he is able to clear his name as he has promised to do.”

FIFA slammed a life ban on Siasia ostensibly owing to his no response to queries issued to him.

First letter sent to Samson Siasia

Initially, the former Nigerian international and coach claimed being oblivious that he had queries to answer. It later emerged that FIFA Ethics Committee (Adjudicatory Chamber) sent a letter to him by e-mail on February 13, 2019.

The second letter sent to Siasia

A follow-up letter was also sent on March 7. No response was obtained to both letters.

If his case is well handled, Siasia may get a reprieve as the punishment seems to emanate from his none response to queries raised. Sports Village Square recalls that last year, a two-year ban was imposed on another African football legend, Kalusha Bwalya of Zambia.

The punishment was mitigated upon appeal.