Samson Siasia was one of the most respected names in the world of sports in Nigeria until he received a life ban from the national football team of Nigeria and all other sports events for bribery back in 2019. Samson Siasia was born on the 14th of August in 1967 in Lagos Nigeria. In his senior career, he played for many respectable football clubs as a striker including FC Nantes from France that he joined in 1993 and remained there until 1995.
With FC Nantes, Siasia became champion of the French league in the 1994-1995 season. Before moving to France to play for FC Nantes, Samson Siasia played for Julius Berger from 1982 to 1984. This is a football club based in Nigeria founded in the 1970s. Bridge Football Club or Julius Berger Football Club also competed internationally and won several national championships.
FC Nantes: Home of Nigerian Stars
Besides Samson Siasia, many other prominent footballers played for FC Nantes including Garba Lawai, Rashidi Yekini, Mutiu Adepoju, Emmanuel Amuneke, Sunday Oliseh, Taribo West, Yakubu, David Adekola, and Odion Ighalo. Nigeria is home to a thriving online sports betting industry and as presented here the best sports betting sites in Nigeria cover all major international and national football matches, offer loads of different betting types, and guarantee highly competitive betting odds.
Samson Siasia’s Playing Career
After leaving Julius Berger in 1994, Samson Siasia joined another Nigeria-based football club Bendel United back in 1985 and he stayed there for less than a year. Bendel United was the runner-up at the Nigerian FA Cup 1988 and the runner-up at the African Cup Winners’ Cup 1989. Here, Siasia made zero appearances on the football field. In 1987, he joined El-Kanemi Warriors Football Club based in Borno State Nigeria.
Once again, Samson Siasia made zero appearances as he spent the entire 1986-1987 season on the bench. In 1987, Siasia was invited to join K.S.C. Lokeren Oost-Vlaanderen (Koninklijke Sporting Club Lokeren Oost-Vlaanderen) based in Loreken, Belgium. This Belgian club was formed in 1923 and existed until 2020 when it went bankrupt. Back in the day, Koninklijke Sporting Club Lokeren Oost-Vlaanderen was quite successful in the domestic league and also made several international appearances.
The club reached the 1980 Euro Cup quarter-final and this is its best result since its establishment. Here, Samson Siasia stayed from 1987 until 1993. He made one hundred and fifty-one appearances and scored thirty-one goals. As mentioned at the beginning, in 1993 Siasia joined FC Nantes and he spent several years living and working in Nantes France. In FC Nantes, he played forty games and scored four goals. From 1995 to 1996, he played for F.C. Tirsense. This is a Portuguese professional football club based in Santo Tirso.
Here, he played fifteen games and scored zero goals. From 1996 to 1997, Samson Siasia was a member of Al Hilal SFC. Al Hilal SFC is a professional football team based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The club was founded over six decades ago and it has been competing in the Saudi Professional League for many seasons now. Here, Samson Siasia stayed on the bench for the entire season before moving to Australia to join Perth Glory FC in 1997.
This is a professional football club based in Perth Australia and it competed in the A-League. For Perth Glory, Samson played twenty-two matches and scored three goals. The last team he joined as a professional football player was Israel-based Hapoel Tzafririm Holon F.C. He played for Hapoel Tzafririm Holon F.C. for two seasons from 1998 to 2000. He made thirty appearances and scored twelve goals.
Samson Siasia also played fifty-one matches for the national team of Nigeria. When he was competing with the National team of Nigeria, the team appeared in the 1994 FIFA World Cup and achieved its biggest success at the African Nations Cup in 1994 when it was crowned the winner. The national team of Nigeria with Samson Siasia was also third-placed at the African Nations Cup 1992 held in Senegal.
Siasia’s Coaching Career
In 2000, Siasia retired and went on coaching almost twenty professional football teams. In his home country, he coached Nigeria U-20 from 2005 until 2007, and under his leadership, the team reached the finals of the U-20 African Youth Championship and the Under -20 World Cup in 2005. His team went on winning the African Youth Championship and reached the World Final to finish as runner-up after losing from Argentina.
In 2007, Siasia took over the Nigeria U-23 team and one year later, he led the Under-23 Olympic team all the way to the finals. The team lost to Argentina once again but took home the Olympic Silver Medal. That same year, his team won the Intercontinental Cup held in Malaysia. Besides coaching the Nigerian U-23 team, Samson Siasia established a football academy for young players in the city of Abuja. In March of 2009, he once again joined the Nigeria U-20 team but this time, the team was third-placed at the African Youth Championship held in 2009.
In July of 2010, he was appointed as the head coach for Heartland F.C. while in November that same year, he replaced Lars Lagerbäck after being appointed as the national team coach. However, he failed to take the team to the African Nations Cup in 2012 and was fired shortly after. Everything was going great for Samson Siasia until August of 2019 when FIFA handed him the biggest penalty for match-fixing, a lifetime ban.
Lifetime Ban for Match Fixing Reduced to Five Years
Back in August of 2019, the independent committee of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) has found one of the most respected Nigerian professional football players and coach guilty of several Code of Ethics related to bribery and match-fixing. Consequently, he received a lifetime ban for his actions that same month. As revealed in the official statement, the FIFA ethics committee found out that Siasia was involved in bribery on numerous occasions.
The investigation was initiated back on the 11th of February 2019 and soon, it was discovered that Siasia was involved in match-fixing for betting purposes. Initially, the investigation concerned Wilson Ray Perumal but it was not long before the FIFA Committee discovered that Samson Siasia was also involved. By accepting bribery and match-fixing, Siasia had violated art. 11 of the FIFA Code of Ethics 2009.
In August of 2019, he was banned for life from coaching and being involved in any form of football-related activities at an international and national level. He was also ordered to pay a fine of CHF 50,000. Shortly later, Samson Siasia denied any involvement in match-fixing and accepting bribery and officially appealed FIFA’s decision. His lawyer argued that handing a life ban is not appropriated for Siasia as this was his first offense.
His lawyer also said that Siasia should get a five-year ban as this punishment for match-fixing would achieve the same aim. Since the former Nigerian football coach had not obtained any financial gain from match-fixing, his lifetime football ban was reduced to just five years as his lawyer proposed in the official appeal. The Cas (Court of Arbitration for Sports) also decided to dismiss that fine of CHF 50,000 Samson Siasia was ordered to pay. Since the five-year ban was enforced on the 16th of August 2019, in August of 2024, Samson Siasia can return to the field.