Features/Interview

Siasia’s mum regains freedom from kidnappers, ex-Super Eagles coach now ready to tackle FIFA ban


The mother of former Super Eagles coach and striker Samson Siasia has been released after being kidnapped by gunmen over three months ago.
Mrs Ogere Siasia, 76, and two others were seized back in July in Bayelsa State, where kidnappings for ransom are frequent.
Siasia, who had pleaded for help last week, told the BBC he was ‘relieved’ that his mother had been released safely.
“It’s been really tough but I’m pretty relieved that she’s finally released on Sunday morning,” he told BBC Sport.
“I can only thank Nigerians and everyone involved in the safe return of my mother.
“She’s old and in poor health right now. I pray no one has to go through this emotional trauma.”
Although Mrs Siasia was released early on Sunday, it is not clear if a ransom was paid.
It’s the second time in four years that Mrs Siasia had been kidnapped after she was previously held by gunmen for 12 days, before her release back in November 2015.
Siasia, who recently filed an appeal against a life ban for match-fixing, imposed by world football’s governing body Fifa, is switching attention to clearing his name.
He is expected to pay 100,000 Swiss Francs (US$100,700) by 10 October for his appeal case to be heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) in the Swiss city of Lausanne.
“My mother is unwell so she needs medical attention, which is my priority now,” he added.
“Then I have to do all I can to be heard at CAS because being in football is the only life that I know.”

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