Ex-Nigeria international Segun Odegbami has knocked football’s governing body FIFA for handing former Super Eagles coach a life ban, Concise News reports.
The former captain of the Green Eagles said that the judgment by FIFA was not fair.
Speaking in a television sports programme monitored on Tuesday, Odegbami said that the alleged offence committed by Siasia was not enough for the ban.
“Siasia’s offence to the little of my knowledge is his failure to respond to an email from the world football governing,” he said.
“You can’t earn such a punishment without committing a capital offense. That sentence is akin to taking Samson’s life because football is his life, as it is for some of us too.
“Why would FIFA destroy the reputation of a former player and celebrated coach, his livelihood and his future for the ‘sin’ of an intention to commit an offense, and not for the offense itself ? Yet, even the intent is still shrouded in secrecy weeks after the verdict.”
FIFA claimed that Siasia did not respond to two email messages sent to him to defend himself.
“Even Samson initially shouted to the world, in shocked reaction, that he did not know about the matter and was never invited to defend himself. But that was before an email correspondence surfaced on social media clearly showing that FIFA invited him, did not receive a response, decided to try him in absentia and inflicted the maximum punishment,” said Odegbami.
“The facts do not tally with the alleged offense, or the gravity of the conviction. Up till now, FIFA has not stated what happened and connected the dots to Siasia. Samson has not been accused of fixing any match, and there has not been any evidence to show that he took part in any match-fixing.”