Sports

Samson Siasia’s FIFA life ban reduced to five years

The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has reduced the life ban from football handed over to former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia to five years.

World football body FIFA banned Siasia for life in August 2019 and fined him $50,000 for agreeing to ‘the manipulation of matches’ for betting purposes.

Siasia had denied the charges and appealed the ban at the CAS.

The court cancelled the $50,000 fine imposed on Siasia by FIFA, while the ban was backdated to start on August 16, 2019.

In its judgment, CAS said it “determined the imposition of a life ban to be disproportionate for a first offense which was committed passively and which had not had an adverse or immediate effect on football stakeholders, and that a five-year ban would still achieve the envisaged aim of punishing the infringement committed by Mr Siasia.”

“In 2010, a match fixer tried to involve Mr Siasia as a coach of a club under his strict instructions. With the promise of employment benefits, Mr Siasia would have had to always field several players under the control of the match fixer.

“The negotiations between the match fixer and Mr Siasia in relation to the conditions of employment were conducted by email over a period of two months.

“Eventually, the club did not accept or could not afford Mr. Siasia’s requests and the negotiations ended,” the court ruled.

Although, CAS noted the need for heavy sanctions to eradicate bribery and match-fixing in football, it said that in Siasia’s case “it would be inappropriate and excessive to impose a financial sanction in addition to the five-year ban, since the ban sanction already incorporated a financial punishment in eliminating football as a source of revenue for Mr Siasia.”

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