The former Nantes and Super Eagles forward was found of guilty of match-fixing in 2019 and was consequently handed a life ban from football
The Court of Arbitration for Sports (Cas) has reduced the life ban placed on former Nigeria coach Samson Siasia by Fifa to five years.
The court delivered its long-awaited appeal verdict on Monday and also dismissed the fine of CHF 50,000 (fifty thousand Swiss Francs) he was ordered to pay.
In August 2019, the world football governing body announced that Siasia was found guilty of accepting an offer to receive bribes in an attempt to manipulate the outcome of matches.
The investigation concluded that the 53-year-old breached article 11 of Fifa’s Code of Ethics which led to his ban and financial punishment.
After considering Siasia’s appeal and also reviewing Fifa’s judgement, Cas described the initial lifetime ban as excessive punishment for the former Super Eagles striker, and they also defended the removal of the fine.
Siasia had two stints as the Super Eagles coach (in 2010 and 2016) and he led the Nigeria U23 team to win silver and bronze medals, at the 2008 Beijing and 2016 Rio Olympics, respectively.
“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,” read a statement from Cas.
“The imposed fine 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.
“The Panel acknowledged the need for sanctions to be sufficiently high enough to eradicate bribery and especially match-fixing in football.
“However, the Panel considered in the particular circumstances of this matter that 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, and considering that Mr Siasia had not obtained any gain or pecuniary benefit from his unethical behaviour.”