Siasia quits Nigerian football

Samson Siasia

Samson Siasia has quit his role as Nigeria national U23 coach barely one week after leading the country to an historic bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The Dream Team VI were subjected to harsh conditions leading to the tournament and faced similar crisis in Rio.

Despite all the challenges, they managed to clinch a medal – which ended Nigeria’s eight years drought at the event.

And Siasia, who also won silver in 2008 says he is “done” with Nigerian football after “a turbulent and incredible campaign in Brazil” – describing the country’s sports as “a disrespectful system”.

“I have reached that point where I have to say I have had enough,” Siasia, whose contract expires at the end of the Olympics, told BBC Sport on Saturday.

“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 added.

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, had denied knowledge of Siasia’s team when they cried of negligence while at their training camp in the United States.

The former Super Eagles gaffer recalled that terrible experience and other painful memories which triggered his sudden decision.

“First we had the minister deride us for camping in Atlanta and even denied our existence as a group before the flight problems,” Siasia who is owed five months salary stated.

“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,” said Siasia.