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 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 as 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 expressed 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.
Fidelity Bank emerges champions of 2019 Nigerian Bankers’ Games
How best can one describe the Nigerian Bankers’ Games (NBG) Finals between Fidelity and UBA yesterday? Nerve wracking, enthralling, grueling, entertaining, mesmerizing, ecstatic? You just can’t be wrong on any of these fronts! Simply put: The match lived up to its billing as it had everybody sitting on the edge of their seats.
The Okonkwo tutored boys drew the first blood, converting from a well taken throw –in. The lead was however short lived as the Tony Elumelu boys benefited from a defensive mix-up to score the equalizer. From then on, it became a ding-dong affair with neither of the teams giving anything away. That was the situation till the end of regulation time.
Then the dreaded penalty shoot – out! This is where you can thump your chest and say yes, “I am a Fidelity Man”. Fidelity players kept their nerves and true to the Fidelity Spirit, scored all the five kicks to come away with the cup for the fourth time. Fidelity Bank also emerged best in the overall medal tables of the 2019 NBG.
Congratulations Team Fidelity.
FCMB excites Nigerians at COPA Lagos Beach Soccer tournament
The 2019 edition of the COPA Lagos Beach Soccer Tournament, sponsored by First City Monument Bank (FCMB) came to an exciting end on Sunday, November 3, with a commitment by the Bank to sustain its support to initiatives that promote youths, sports and overall national development. This marks the eighth consecutive year that FCMB has sponsored the tournament.
The assurance was given by the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Bank, Mr. Adam Nuru, at the closing ceremony. According to him, the Bank’s intervention in the area of sports using COPA as a vehicle is aimed at developing the minds, body and abilities of the populace, especially youths to contribute significantly to the growth of the country’s sports and tourism sectors.
The FCMB MD said, “the COPA Lagos Beach soccer tournament provides a platform to bring our customers, Nigerians, soccer fans, families, local and international soccer beach players and other stakeholders together in an atmosphere of relaxation, excitement and bonding, very important factors for healthy living and nation building. This tournament has become one of the most exciting events towards the end of every year. We will continue to remain a strong supporter of initiatives that will create opportunities and equip our youths for a bright future’’, Mr. Nuru, said.
The 3-day soccer, music and other entertainment fiesta, organised by Kinetic Sports Limited, was held at Eko Atlantic Beach, Victoria Island, Lagos and featured the national beach soccer teams of Nigeria, Brazil, Senegal and England. There was also a Club Challenge involving three Nigerian Clubs, namely Pepsi Football Academy, Kebbi Beach Soccer Club, Gidi Sharks of Lagos and Ghana-based Sunset Sports Club. In the national teams’ category, Senegal emerged champions after winning all three matches to secure nine points. Nigeria came second with six points, Brazil was third with three points, while England was fourth with no point. In the club challenge, Sunset Stars of Keta, Ghana, took home the trophy. The Most Valuable Player of the tournament was Lansana Diassy of Senegal.
Also speaking on the tournament, the Group Head, Corporate Affairs, FCMB, Mr. Diran Olojo, stated that, ‘’beach Soccer has become more popular in Nigeria, riding on the Copa Lagos tournament. We believe that our sponsorship of the event in the last eight years, has helped to raise the profile of the game going by the large turnout of spectators and dignitaries that watched the football matches and participated in other lifestyle events associated with it’’.
Apart from the excitement FCMB built around the football matches, which went a long way to make the tournament fun-filled and memorable, spectators and other guests had the opportunity to experience the unique banking services of the Bank. The fan zone of FCMB was a beehive of activities with various games and rewards for winners, courtesy of the Bank. There was a music concert organised by FCMB that featured popular hip-hop musician, Mayorkun (real name Adewale Emmanuel), and other top-rated entertainers.
Commenting on this year’s tournament, Governor Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos state, expressed excitement at the growing status of beach soccer in Nigeria and the support provided by corporate bodies like FCMB.
Also speaking, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Kinetic Sports, Mr. Sola Aiyepeku, commended FCMB for its role in the promotion of sports development. He noted that the involvement of FCMB over the years in COPA Lagos has made the tournament more glamorous.
FCMB has consistently supported sporting activities that have wide appeal across demographic and socio-economic classes in line with its core values as a simple, reliable and helpful financial institution.
For more information about FCMB, please visit www.fcmb.com.
See pictures from the event below:
Messi, Ronaldo, Van Dijk, others battle for 2019 Ballon d’Or award
Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk have been named in a 30-man shortlist for the 2019 Ballon d’Or.
The trio were among the nominees revealed by France Football on Monday evening.
Also in the list are premier League stars Sergio Aguero, Sadio Mane and Hugo Lloris.
They were joined by Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and Ajax’s former Southampton schemer Dusan Tadic.
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold have also been included in the 30-strong list, as have Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre terStegen and Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek.
There is a place too for Paris St Germain’s World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe.
Also included are Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva, Spurs striker Son Heung-min and Bayern Munich’s Poland international frontman Robert Lewandowski.
Five-times winner Cristiano Ronaldo is also included on the list, as is his former Real Madrid team-mate Karim Benzema and current club colleague Matthijs de Ligt.
Liverpool pair Alisson Becker and Georginio Wijnaldum join fellow Champions League winner Mane among the candidates.
Sadio Mane, Sergio Aguero, Frenkie de Jong, Hugo Lloris, Dusan Tadic, Kylian Mbappe, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Donny van de Beek, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alisson Becker, Matthijs de Ligt, Karim Benzema, Georginio Wijnaldum, Virgil van Dijk, Bernardo Silva, Heung-min Son, Robert Lewandowski, Roberto Firmino, Lionel Messi, Riyad Mahrez, Kevin de Bruyne, Kalidou Koulibaly, Antoine Griezmann, Mohamed Salah, Eden Hazard, Marquinhos, Raheem Sterling, Joao Felix.