The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has reduced the life ban from football imposed on former Super Eagles coach, Samsom Siasia, to five years.
World football governing body, FIFA has in August 2019, banned Siasia for life and fined him $50,000 and for agreeing to ‘the manipulation of matches’ for betting purposes.
According to FIFA, the 1994 AFCON winner’s ban emanated from an extensive investigation into matches that Wilson Perumal attempted to fix.
A statement by FIFA’s independent Ethics Committee had said: “Siasia was found guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches that Perumal attempted to manipulate for betting purposes.”
But Siasia denied the charges and appealed the ban at CAS.
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.”
The court also cancelled the $50,000 fine imposed on Siasia by FIFA, while the ban was backdated to start on August 16, 2019.
“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,” CAS statement said.
CAS 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,” the statement added.