The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has reduced the life ban from football placed on former Super Eagles coach Samsom Siasia to five years.
The former Super Eagles coach’s ban, according to FIFA, followed an extensive investigation into matches that Wilson Perumal attempted to fix.
A statement from FIFA’s independent Ethics Committee 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.”
While maintaining his innocence, Siasia appealed the ban at CAS – sports highest court.
Ruling on Monday, 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 revealed.
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,” CAS added.