Samson Siasia has resigned as the coach of Nigeria’s U-23 football team because of what he describes as “a disrespectful system”.
Siasia, the most decorated African coach at the Rio-Olympics, having also won a silver medal in Beijing in 2008, claims to have gone unpaid for five months by the Nigeria Football Federation.
He said he had quit football in Nigeria after “a turbulent and incredible campaign in Brazil.”
The 1996 Olympic football champions became the first African country to complete an Olympic medal sweep having won a silver medal in Beijing in 2008.
Head Coach of the Nigerian national U-23 team, Samson Siasia, has called up 31 players to camp in preparation for next month’s All-Africa Games, in Brazzaville, Congo.
The list, which is made up of mostly players who qualified the Dream Team for the games, has some new faces including Lucky Jimoh, Bright Onyedikachi and Olisah Ndah amongt others.
The invited players are expected to report in Abuja from Wednesday, August 12.
The dream team will face Ghana, Senegal and Egypt in Group B of the men’s football tournament from September 3 to 18.
Recently, Siasia picked 20 players for the crucial African U-23 Championship qualifier against Congo in Pointe-Noire.
Nigeria’s Under-23 Coach, Samson Siasia, has picked 20 players for Sunday’s crucial African U-23 Championship qualifier against Congo in Pointe-Noire.
While addressing the players after their last practice match at the FIFA/NFF Goal Project in Abuja on Wednesday, Coach Siasia said that all the players are good enough to make the trip, but it was impossible for everyone to be in Congo for the battle.
He assured the players left out to continue to work on their game as they could form part of the team for the All Africa Games.
“For those of you selected, this is a golden opportunity for you to show to Nigerians and the world that your first leg victory was not a flash in the pan, and as such you must fight hard when we get to Pointe Noire and beat the Congolese.”
The team takes a slim 2-1 win to Pointe Noire and must avoid defeat to stand a chance of qualifying for the eight nation CAF Under-23 Championship in Senegal.
The selected players for the task ahead are: Daniel Emmanuel, Atanda Sodiq, Stanley Amuzie, Azubuike Okechukwu, Olusegun Oduduwa, Erhun Obanor, Godwin Saviour, Etebo Oghenekaro, Junior Ajayi, Usman Mohammed, Etor Daniel, Yusuf Mohammed, Chima Akas, Semiu Liadi, Shehu Abdullahi, Kingsley Sokari, Taiwo Awoniyi, Umar Aminu, Austin Oladapo and Sincere Seth.
Head Coach of the U-23 National Team, Samson Siasia has described All-Africa Games group B opponents Ghana, Egypt and Senegal as tough nuts, but assured Nigerians that his team will qualify from the group and ultimately aim for the gold medal.
Reacting to Thursday’s draw held at the CAF headquarters in Egypt, Siasia, who is with his U-23 boys in Port Harcourt preparing for next weekend’s African U-23 Championship final round, first leg qualifier against Congo, expressed surprise that the strongest teams in the tournament, pedigree -wise, ended up in the same pool.
“I can tell you for free that this group B is a tough one, for all the countries in this group can qualify for the semi finals. All I can say for now is that we are not afraid of any of them, and will know what to do when we get to that bridge.”
Coach Siasia added that for now, all his concentration is on the African U-23 Championship qualifying fixture home and away to Congo, as that is of immediate importance.
Meanwhile, the Dream Team will on Friday play a friendly game against Nigeria Nationwide League club, Go Round FC in Port Harcourt.
The encounter kicks off at 4pm.