Embittered coach of the bronze winning U-23 national football team at the Rio Olympics, Samson Siasia has said he no longer habours any ill-feelings for the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung for labelling him a ‘Human trafficker’ because “he has apologised to me”.
Widely travelled BBC World Football reporter, Osasu Obayiuwana has revealed that Siasia spoke extensively with him during an interview Wednesday night for the BBC on so many issues including the attack on him (Siasia).
Obayiuwana disclosed that the Bayelsa-born gaffer said during the interview that he was disappointed by the ill-treatment of the U-23 team before and after wining the face-saving bronze medal for the country at the Games as well as the aspersion cast on the Japanese billionaire, Yatsuya Takasu who came to the rescue of the team when Nigerian billionaires who heard about their predicament turned deaf ears.
Siasia’s feelings: “I was very surprised that he (Dalung) accused me of being a human trafficker. He has apologised to me for making that statement. The minister has made some mistakes and needs to be guided. But I have decided to let what he said go…”
On being owed five months wages, by the Nigeria Football Federation: “If I had known that I will be in this situation, I would never have taken up this job. I have been relying on friends, in order to survive. There is no excuse for my being owed five months wages… My son asks me, “Dad, how can you be working and they don’t pay you?”
On Dr Katsuya Takasu: “This man came to our aid when we were in trouble. I must thank him. He is a wonderful human being. Where were our billionaires, like Aliko Dangote, when they must have heard that the team were in trouble? The report written by the NFF’s Integrity Officer (Dr Christian Emeruwa) on Dr Takasu (which alludes that he could be associated with match-fixing) is nonsense. He should have done a better job of checking him out.”
On his post-Olympic treatment: “I am disappointed by how I and my team have been treated, after being the only ones to bring a medal home for Nigeria. On getting back from Brazil, we were put up at Sheraton Hotel in Lagos for a night, after which everyone went their separate ways. No official ceremony, not even a handshake from the President. It was the same thing I experienced after winning the Silver medal at the 2008 Olympics. I don’t know whether it is my fate to be always treated this way.”