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Siasia reacts on FIFA ban

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Former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia on Saturday appealed for calm over his life ban by the world football governing body, FIFA, on Friday.

Siasia was banned for life from the game following a match-fixing probe by FIFA.

Siasia, who spoke to journalists in Abuja through an associate, Opukiri Jones-Ere, at the main bowl of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, said the matter was currently being looked into by his lawyer.

The former Super Eagles forward said he was hopeful of a positive conclusion of the matter.

“We want to please plead with everyone to be calm as the issue has been handed over to a lawyer and he is looking at the case.

“So, at this moment, Siasia will be unavailable to speak to the press.

“I want to also appeal to you all to be patient with us, considering the fact that he is already going through so much stress with regards to his mother’s kidnap which we are dealing with at the moment.

“We appreciate you all for your concerns and solidarity messages which have received from the onset of this situation.

“So, my kind appeal is that you all give us some time for the lawyer to look into the case and as soon as possible, hopefully by next week, we will come up with our position and further action to be taken on the issue.

“On behalf of the family of Siasia, we want to once again thank you for your concerns and we pray that this will end well,” he said.

FIFA had said in a statement on Friday that the adjudicatory chamber of their independent Ethics Committee found the 51-year-old Siasia guilty.

He was “guilty of having accepted that he will receive bribes in relation to manipulation of matches in violation of FIFA Code of Ethics.”

Siasia played 51 times as a striker for the Nigerian national team and later coached various national youth sides before his first spell as senior coach in 2010.

His case is the latest to emerge from FIFA’s long-running investigation into the activities of Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal, who FIFA has called a “known match fixer”.

He has admitted such activity in several interviews.

FIFA said Siasia was banned for life “from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international levels.”

Siasia was also fined CHF 50,000 (N18.6 million).

The former Nigerian international was appointed Super Eagles head coach from 2010 to Oct. 2011 and he was reappointed in 2016.

NAN reports that FIFA had in 1989 banned Nigeria for two years from age-grade football competitions over discrepancies discovered in the ages provided by the duo of Siasia and Dahiru Sadi.

The ages were provided while registering both players for the 1985 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in the then Soviet Union and the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea.

(NAN)

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Super Eagles drop in FIFA ranking

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The Nigeria national team, the Super Eagles, have dropped one place in the latest FIFA world rankings released on Thursday by the world football governing body.

According to the August/September 2019 edition, the Super Eagles are now placed 34th in the world, down from last time’s 33rd position.

The team recently played 2-2 draw against Ukraine in an international friendly game at the Dnipro Stadium, their first game after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, where the team finished third.

Coach Gernot Rohr’s men, however, gained one point, cumulating 1482 points from the previous 1481 points.

In the African ranking, Nigeria maintained its third-place despite the drop in the world ranking, with Senegal and Tunisia also maintaining their first and second positions respectively.

Algeria climbed two places in the world rankings and are fourth on the African ranking behind Nigeria, while Morocco, Egypt, Ghana, Cameroon, Congo DR, and Cote D’Ivoire occupy the fifth to tenth positions respectively.

Meanwhile, Belgium remained top of the world ranking, with France, Brazil, England, and Portugal making up the top 5.

Belgium continues to hold its place as the topmost country on the FIFA world ranking.

Uruguay, Spain, Croatia, Colombia and Argentina are the other countries who make up the top 10 of the latest FIFA rankings.

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Frankfurt vs Arsenal: Unai Emery lists strong squad for Europa League clash

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Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, has left out Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, from the squad that has travelled to Eintracht Frankfurt, for their Europa League group game.

Rob Holding makes the trip, having not yet made an appearance on the comeback trail from a serious knee injury.

Also featuring in Emery’s 19-man squad are youngsters Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith-Rowe.

Thursday’s game in Germany kicks off at 5.55pm UK time, with Group F rivals Standard Liege and Vitoria facing off in Belgium the same night.

Arsenal squad:

Goalkeepers – Leno, Martinez.

Defenders – Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Mustafi, Holding, Luiz, Kolasinac.

Midfielders – Guendouzi, Torreira, Willock, Xhaka, Ceballos, Smith Rowe.

Attackers – Martinelli, Nelson, Pepe, Saka, Aubameyang.

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Chelsea vs Valencia: Livescore from Champions League clash

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Frank Lampard takes charge of his first Champions League tie at Chelsea, when they welcome Valencia to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

Lampard will be without Antonio Rudiger, N’Golo Kante and Emerson Palmeri due to injuries, while the LaLiga side arrive with a full squad.

Chelsea and Valencia have met six times previously in European competition, with the Spanish club not winning any of these matches

Kick off is 8pm West African time.

Chelsea XI vs Valencia: Kepa, Christensen, Tomori, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Kovacic, Jorginho, Alonso, Willian, Mount, Abraham

Valencia XI vs Chelsea: Cillessen, Wass, Garay, Gabriel, Gaya, Kondogbia, Parejo, Coquelin, Cheryshev, Rodrigo, Gameiro

Tuesday, September 17
First half: No goals.

Half time.

Second half: Rodrigo scores for the LaLiga club. 0-1.

Full time: Chelsea have lost 1-0 to Valencia.

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