I am done with Nigeria for now… – Coach Siasia declares

Coach of Nigeria’s bronze medal winning under-23 team at Rio 2016, Samson Siasia has lamented the poor treatment meted out to him and members of the team.

Speaking to The Vanguard he said “I am done with Nigeria for now.”

“You can’t keep going to a place where they don’t appreciate you. It’s not worth it.

“Sometimes it is not about the money but the approach. They seem not to appreciate the sacrifices. I know how much I have sacrificed since the team began camping two years ago. How can you keep going to people who don’t appreciate you?

“It does not make sense, so I am done for now. I have to go somewhere else where they will appreciate what I have done and what I can do and pay me the respect that I deserve.”

The coach said he could not continue working with those running sports in the country.

“It has been from bad to worse, so we must sit down and do something about the structure of Nigerian football and by extension sports in general.

“It doesn’t worth it to work with the people running sports now in Nigeria. From the Federation to the sports ministry.

“They don’t have it and will not give what they don’t have. It feels bad.”

Speaking further on the ill-treatment he received, Siasia said that the only car given to him was taken from his wife while he was in Rio.

“Even before I returned from the Olympics, the only car they gave me, they took it away from my wife. That is just awesome.

“That is not how to treat someone who was out there seeking glory for the nation. Let them eat their national team,” he said.

Speaking on the allegations of human trafficking levelled against him by Sports Minister Solomon Dalung, Siasia expressed shock at the statement saying that the minister was fully aware of the plans of the team.

“How can I take a national team out of the country without their knowledge of the NFF and the Sports Ministry? I really don’t know were that was coming from.

“I don’t know what he was talking about. When I first heard about human trafficking and such stuff, I was angry because the Minister knew that we were going to Atlanta.

“If not that they stole my phone, I would have shown to you his text message to me before we travelled. That day the U-20 defeated us 3-2 in our last warm-up match, the Minister sent me a text that I should come so that we can chat but when I went they said he went to the Villa.”

He commended the efforts of the Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed during the time they were stranded in Atlanta.

“The Vice President called and I spoke with him like two times, the Finance Minister called and indeed the first person to call was the Minister for Information, Lai Mohammed. I must say he did a nice job to see how to solve our problem because I think the President heard about our plight and instructed that they should find a way to solve the problem.”

Siasia led Nigeria to silver at the U-20 championship in 2005. He also won silver in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

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