The Nigeria Football Federation is standing by its former national coach Samson Siasia saying it is  “shocked” by the life ban for bribery meted out by FIFA and vowing to help overturn it.

FIFA banned Siasia as part of is long-running investigation into convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal, finding him guilty of  “having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.”

Siasia played 51 times for Nigeria and had two short spells as national coach.

NFF vice president Seyi Akinwunmi said in a statement that the FIFA ruling had been handed to the body’s lawyers “to study and provide legal advice to the federation.”

“The NFF was shocked to learn of the investigation and subsequent decision by the FIFA Ethics Committee (Adjudicatory Chamber) placing a life ban on Mr. Samson Siasia,” said the statement.

“Siasia is a football legend but most importantly he is a Nigerian. We respect the FIFA processes (but) the least we as a Federation can do is empathise with him at this time (and) make ourselves available to him and hope that in some way he is able to clear his name.”

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