Siasia explains Nigerian U23 departure

Dream Team coach Samson Siasia says he has decided to walk away from the Nigeria national team setup over what he termed ‘a disrespectful system’.

Having taken the Nigeria U23 side to silver at the 2008 Olympics, Siasia followed that up by winning bronze at the recently completed Rio Olympic Games.

This despite having endured a multitude of off-the-field challenges, mostly money related.

Siasia’s contract has reportedly expired, although that did not stop him from slamming the Nigerian Football Federation.

He says that he has not been paid in nearly half a year and that there were no financial bonuses handed out after Nigeria’s third-placed finish at the Olympics.

“I have reached that point where I have to say I have had enough,” Siasia, who has also won several international youth tournaments, was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.

“I’ve gone several months without getting paid, years of being derided and disrespected by the sports authorities in Nigeria but I am done already.

“It’s sad that after all we went through to get to Brazil and end up winning a bronze medal, the players, coaching and backroom staff never received a ‘thank you’ in appreciation despite a turbulent time at the Olympics.”

He continued: “Players had to embark on a strike to be heard, then the boys kept a good spirit to win an incredible medal, only to be publicly criticised for speaking to the Japanese surgeon who supported and rewarded the team for their brave spirit.

“I’ve taken a deep look at everything and concluded that things need to change for us to progress as a country not just in football but our general lives.

“I have fulfilled my obligations as a citizen, footballer and coach; right now I do not want to be involved in the Nigerian football system anymore.”

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