The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has ruled that Samson Siasia’s life ban be reduced to 5 years on his offence of “passive” involvement in match fixing.
Siasia was handed a life ban in 2019 by FIFA after investigations in 2010 unearthed his involvement with a “Match fixer” for a proposed club appointment.
The CAS ruling published, Monday, read:
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 CAS Panel ruled on Siasia’s appeal of the life ban:
Mr Siasia is banned for 5 (five) years from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level (administrative, sports or any other) as of 16 August 2019.
The imposed fined of CHF 50,000 (fifty thousand Swiss Francs) on Mr Siasia is set aside.
The Panel determined the imposition of a life ban to be disproportionate for a first offence 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 his reaction, the former Super Eagles Coach expressed disappointment with the Sports arbitration panel’s verdict and maintains his innocence.
Siasia rejected the decision terming it a ‘disgrace’ and ‘unacceptable’ because ‘I did not commit any crime’.
‘This is not what I was expecting, I’m not happy. Until now they’ve not said I’ve done anything wrong,’ Siasia told FL in an exclusive interview.
‘They cannot show or prove that’ I’ve done anything wrong. I’m talking to my Lawyer in Switzerland for the next move.
‘They’ve not proved that I’ve done anything wrong so why are they still giving me a five year ban. Perhaps I should have been let off for the time served.’
‘I just think they want to support FIFA and maybe think if I was cleared completely that I could go on to sue them and that could be what they’re trying to prevent.’