FIFA ban: Si­a­sia goes spir­i­tual, says I fast and pray

The Punch - - SPORTS - Ebenezer Ba­jela

mbat­tled for­mer Su­per ea­gles coach, Sam­son Si­a­sia, has lifted the lid on his cur­rent sit­u­a­tion as he pre­pares to ap­peal his ban which has been sched­uled for march 19, 2020, de­scrib­ing his predica­ment as a wilder­ness which won’t last for long.

Si­a­sia was banned from all foot­ball re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties for life fol­low­ing a match-fix­ing probe by the sport’s gov­ern­ing body, FIFA, last Au­gust af­ter the ad­ju­di­ca­tory cham­ber of their in­de­pen­dent Ethics Com­mit­tee found him guilty of hav­ing ac­cepted to take bribes in re­la­tion to the ma­nip­u­la­tion of matches in vi­o­la­tion of the FIFA code of ethics.

The 52-year-old, who in­sisted he was in­no­cent, filed an ap­peal against FIFA at the court of

Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport against a life ban im­posed on him by the sport’s world gov­ern­ing body.

The for­mer Ea­gles’ player has gone spir­i­tual, seek­ing divine in­ter­ven­tion over his cur­rent predica­ment as he re­vealed to Sun­day PUNCH in a tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion.

“Some­times I fast and pray but every­thing is in God’s hands. He has never dis­ap­pointed me be­fore,”

Si­a­sia said.

“I have been pray­ing over it, it’s a mat­ter of time, I will soon be out of this wilder­ness and back to the Promised Land again.

“I will give him all the Glory and Hon­our as He (God) takes me back to my right­ful po­si­tion soon.”

The 1994 African Na­tions cup win­ner also took out time to ap­pre­ci­ate those who had do­nated to his fund rais­ing course as he tried to raise the sum of $250,000 for his ap­peal.

“The do­na­tions are com­ing in slowly, but steady. I can see the N1,000 and the N500 do­na­tions. I want to thank peo­ple for all the widow’s mite, other big do­na­tions you know about al­ready, in­clud­ing from Se­gun Odeg­bami.

“God bless Nige­ri­ans that came out to sup­port me in my time of need. I will for­ever re­mem­ber them. I have a list of all of them.’’

Si­a­sia is the most dec­o­rated African foot­ball coach at the Olympics, win­ning sil­ver at the Bei­jing Games in 2008 and bronze at the 2016 Games in Rio.

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