Nigerian coach Samson Siasia gets his life ban from football reduced to 5 years in his alleged bribery case

Siasia was accused of collecting bribe to fix a Super Eagles game.

Samson Siasia was in charge of the Nigeria team during the 2016 Olympics in Rio

Nigerian coach Samson Siasia has gotten his life ban from football reduced to five years in his alleged bribery case that halted his coaching career.

Siasia in 2019 was fined and banned for life from football by world football governing body FIFA for agreeing to collect bribe to fix a game.

FIFA found the former Super Eagles coach guilty of breaching an act of the FIFA Code of Ethics and banned him for life.

The 53-year-old appealed the ban with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which was successful.

Siasia can now return to football in five years, according to CAS' latest ruling.

CAS said FIFA's life ban was disproportionate for a first offence which 'was committed passively'.

The court also cancelled a fine of $50,000 that had also been part of the sanctions imposed by FIFA.

Siasia, ex-Nigeria international, got into trouble when FIFA investigated games that a certain Wilson Raj Perumal attempted to manipulate for betting purposes.

FIFA never mentioned the particular game although, Perumal, a confessed match-fixer from Singapore, had claimed in his book that he helped Nigeria to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The convicted match-fixer claimed that he met with a football official and promised to help Nigeria qualify for the World Cup.

In return, he would get a deal to arrange three friendly games for the Super Eagles and a cut from the money Nigeria will receive from FIFA for hosting training camp during the tournament.

He also claimed he paid three players to help Nigeria qualify for the World Cup and bribed Mozambique FA a bonus if they could hold Tunisia to a draw and prevent them from leapfrogging Nigeria and getting automatic World Cup qualification.

Nigeria finished winners of Group B of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers (CAF). Tunisia, Mozambique and Kenya were the other countries in that group.

"My plan had worked, and I was the unsung hero of Nigeria's qualification to the final rounds of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa," writes Perumal.

CAS, in their ruling, found Siasia guilty of negotiating a match-fixing deal which was, however not successful.

"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," CAS said.

"Eventually, the club did not accept or could not afford Mr Siasia's requests and the negotiations ended."

Siasia is a Nigerian football great. He was part of the Super Eagles squad that finished third at the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

In 1994, he won the AFCON title with the Super Eagles and was part of the team that caught the eye at the FIFA World Cup of the same year.

He started coaching after retiring and got the national team job with the Flying Eagles, leading a brilliant team to the finals and second-place finish of the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup in the Netherlands.

That team had won the 2005 CAF U-20 AFCON before the World Cup.

He also led Nigeria's U23 side to the 2008 Olympic Games, where his team also got to the final and finished with the silver medal.

Eight years later, he also led Nigeria to another Olympics and finished with the bronze medal.

He has been Super Eagles coach two different times.

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