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Former coach of the Nigerian Super Eagles, Samson Siasia has had his life-ban punishment from football reduced to five years by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).
Th lifeline was disclosed by the CAS via an official statement on Monday.
The CAS ruled that Siasia was a passive, first-time offender, hence his punishment merited a reduction.
The FIFA fine of 50,000 Swiss francs ($54,000) was overturned “as inappropriate and excessive” because Siasia had not profited and would not be able to earn money from the sport. His ban expires in August 2024.
“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,” CAS said in its Monday statement.
“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 ban has been backdated to start on 16 August 2019 as the court explained the background to the case.
SIasia, 53, was initially sanctioned in 2019 by Fifa for agreeing to match “receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches.”
But Siasia appealed against the ban with football’s governing body and Cas as he denied the charges against him.
Siasia is a Nigerian former professional football striker and the former head coach of the Nigeria national team from 2010 to October 2011. He was reappointed in 2016.
He played 51 international matches for Nigeria, in which he scored thirteen goals, and was part of the team that participated in the 1994 FIFA World Cup and won the 1994 African Nations Cup. He was also a member of the Nigerian team that won bronze at 1992 African Nations Cup in Senegal. He participated in the national team over a period of 11 years and was recognized in Nigeria as the third leading scorer for the national team.
As a coach he led his country’s under-20 and under-23 sides to continental success in 2005 and 2015, respectively. He also guided the under-20’s to a runners-up finish at the 2005 World Youth Championships in the Netherlands.