The sports minister, Sunday Dare has knocked off the claim by Coach Samson Siasia that he was abandoned following his ban by FIFA for match-fixing. The Minister insists he raised money for him and brought his plight to the attention of individuals and organizations to intervene in the matter.
He said through a media aide, “The Ministry, through the Minister, was able to raise money that Siasia personally collected while he was also connected to persons and entities that raised money to assist him in appealing his case at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).”
The minister’s media office said on Tuesday that “in response to the appeal launched by the Minister, Governors of Lagos, Edo, and Delta states made available money that were handed over to Siasia at different times while a couple of individuals, at the instance of the Minister, also raised money that were handed to him in cash.”
The statement by the Minister’s Media Office added: “The Minister stayed on top of the case by pulling all strings to assist Siasia. In addition to the governors of Edo, Delta and Lagos, he made an appeal to the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi. In another instance, the Minister took Siasia on a visit to the then Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson to appeal for support for him.
“Siasia’s claim that government did nothing to assist him is untrue, deceitful, and misleading. While there is no budgetary provision for such incidents, the Ministry and the Office of the Minister gave Siasia all the support that led to the mitigation of his life ban from football related activities.”