Breaking: Samson Siasia Sues FIFA In US Court, Wants Ban Overturned.
Samson Siasia Sues FIFA In US Court, Wants Ban Overturned. The coach, who won Olympics silver and bronze medals with Nigeria’s U-23 teams on two separate edition (Beijing 2008) and Rio 2016 respectively), wants the New York court to overturn his conviction, “a 50,000 Swiss Franc fine returned, his five-year coaching ban reversed and damages awarded for the alleged civil rights violations.”
He said that FIFA’s fine and the decision to revoke his license constituted “cruel and unusual punishment” which, he claimed, “violated provisions of the eighth amendment of the US law.”
“Siasia was not aware of the bribery charge for which that FIFA indicted him until FIFA published to the whole world in or around Aug. 16, 2019, FIFA’s conviction and imposition of a life ban on Siasia from using the coach license issued under the laws of the United States,” the suit said.
The case, Siasia v. Federation Internationale de Football Association, case number 1:21-cv-06516, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Monday.
Siasia was licensed through the United States Soccer Federation, a FIFA affiliate, in 2009. A year later, convicted match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal offered Siasia a coaching job in Australia where he would “play along” and “close one eye” to Perumal’s dealings, the suit added.
On an appeal, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland upheld his conviction and fine on June 21, but it reduced the ban to five years, finding a lifetime ouster was disproportionate to the offense, Siasia’s suit says.
Siasia is represented by Nitor V. Egbarin of the Law Office of Nitor V. Egbarin LLC.
Meanwhile, FIFA yesterday banned its former interim president Issa Hayatou for one year over an alleged wrongdoing in a commercial deal for African soccer, reports Associated Press.
The FIFA investigation concluded Hayatou signed CAF “into an anti-competitive agreement with Lagardère Sport,” a media rights agency based in France.
The football gaffer also contended that the federation lacked the powers to sanction him, adding that only the United States has the legal backing to charge him for the bribery offence.
Hayatou was a long-time FIFA vice president and its stand-in president for several months between Sepp Blatter’s suspension from office in October 2015 and the election of Gianni Infantino four months later.
The 74-year-old Camerounian lost the CAF presidency in 2017 in an election against Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar, whose campaign had been supported by Infantino.
Ahmad is now serving a two-year ban after an investigation of financial wrongdoing by the FIFA ethics committee. That case ended his candidacy to stand for a second term.
The new CAF president is South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe, who was elected unopposed in March after other candidates stood aside in a deal brokered by Infantino.