The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday reduced to five years the suspension for “match-fixing” of former Nigerian national team coach, Samson Siasia.
The court ruled that the life ban, imposed by FIFA in April 2019 after Siaisia was found guilty of agreeing to join a match-fixing ring in 2010, was “disproportionate.”
The CAS ruling upheld the guilty verdict but reduced the length of the ban and set aside the additional fine of 50,000 Swiss francs ($54,000).
“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,” CAS said in a statement, adding that a five-year ban would still punish Siasia.
The report added that the fine was dropped as the panel felt it would be “inappropriate and excessive” on top of the ban.
It noted that Siasia, who is 53, had not benefitted financially and had been hit in the pocket by not being able to work in football.
His suspension “from any football-related activity, nationally or internationally” is backdated to August 16, 2019 and runs until 2024. Siasia has already served more than two years of the sentence.
The former attacker has 51 caps for Nigeria, including at the 1994 World Cup. He played professionally in Europe in notably Belgium and France.
Siasia also won bronze with U23 team at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Siasia was caught after a wider investigation involving Wilson Raj Perumal, who confessed to international match-fixing.
Perumal, a Singaporean national, was arrested and jailed in Finland in 2011 for fixing top-tier football games there.
He later collaborated with investigators.