FIFA bans former Nigeria coach Samson Siasia for life

Samson Siasia
FIFA has banned former Nigeria coach Samson Siasia from all football activity for life after being found guilty of accepting an offer to receive bribes in order to manipulate matches.

Siasia, who led Nigeria U20 and U23 teams to second-place finishes at the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup and the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was also fined CHF 50,000 ($51K).

The world football governing body confirmed it began an investigation into Siasia on February 11 of this year, which stemmed from an ongoing investigation into attempted match-fixing committed by Wilson Raj Perumal. 

FIFA determined the 52-year-old Siasia breached article 11 of the organisation's Code of Ethics, having been found "guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the Fifa Code of Ethics."

As a result of the verdict, Siasia has been handed an immediate lifetime ban from the sport as well as the additional fine. 

Siasia played for the Nigeria national team for 15 years, between 1984 and 1999, accumulating 51 caps and scoring 16 goals in his career for the Super Eagles.

On the club level Siasia played for teams across the globe, with his longest tenure coming with Belgian side Lokeren, where he featured in 151 matches. He also enjoyed a couple of years with French club Nantes, while also playing in Saudi Arabia and Australia. 

Following his playing days, Siasia moved into coaching leading Nigeria's U20 side and later the nation's U23 side between 2005 and 2010.

Siasia was appointed the head coach of Nigeria's senior team in November 2010, though he lasted less than a year on the job after failing to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2011. 

He would return to the national team for a brief spell in 2016, as well as coaching the U23 side during the Rio Olympics. 

It is unclear during which coaching spells Siasia committed the infractions for which he been banned. 

Siasia is the second Nigerian tactician after Salisu Yusuf to have been punished as a result of involvement in bribery. Yusuf was caught on film taking money from men posing as football agents and subsequently banned for a year by the Nigeria Football Federation in 2018.