The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has made a move to defend former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia who has been handed a life ban by FIFA.
On Friday, FIFA announced that Siasia has been banned from all football-related activities for life.
"The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Mr Samson Siasia, a former official of the Nigeria Football Federation, guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics." FIFA said in a statement.
But the NFF in a statement on Monday disclosed that its lawyers have started to "review the decision against former Nigeria player and coach Samson Siasia by the FIFA Ethics Committee".
NFF acting President, 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 fooball legend but most importantly he is a Nigerian. We must therefore be interested in the matter and be properly advised.”
“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.”
Siasia has since denied the allegation levelled against him and vowed to defend himself.