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Match-fixing: Siasia escapes life ban

Former Super Eagles star and ex-coach Samson Siasia has escaped from the life ban initially placed on him for match-fixing allegations.

Siasia appealed against the ban slammed on him by football’s governing body and while he could not get an outright cancellation of the ban, the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has now reduced the life ban to a five-year ban.

In a statement issued on Monday, CAS wrote: “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.

“In 2010, a match fixer tried to involve Mr Siasia as a coach of a club under his strict instructions,” Cas revealed.

“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.”

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

Siasia played 51 international matches for Nigeria, in which he scored 13 goals. He 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.

In 2005, Siasia coached the Under-20 team (Flying Eagles), taking them to the final of both the 2005 Under-20 World Cup and the U-20 African Youth Championship.

He won the African Youth Championship and advanced all the way to the world final – before losing to Argentina 2–1. He also assisted Augustine Eguavoen in coaching the national team.

Samson Siasia was appointed national U-23 coach in January 2007.

In 2008, he coached the Nigerian Under-23 Olympic squad to the final against Argentina, he also led Nigeria to a bronze medal finish at the Rio 2016 Olympics among other accomplishments as a manager.

Siasia coached the Nigerian national team, the Super Eagles, between February and August 2016.

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