Siasia’s Life Ban From Football Reduced To Five Years

Emmanuel Egobiambu  
Updated June 21, 2021
Samson Siasia, Rwanda, FERWAFA
A file photo of Samson Siasia.


The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has reduced former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia’s life ban from football to five years. 

FIFA had in 2019 sanctioned the Nigerian for accepting to “receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches.” The 53-year-old had appealed the sanction, denying the charges leveled against him.

But on Monday, CAS said it “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.”

CAS also overturned a fine of $5000 imposed on the former Nigerian striker by FIFA, backdating the life ban to begin from 16 August 2019.

“(Cas) acknowledged the need for sanctions to be sufficiently high enough to eradicate bribery and especially match-fixing in football,” the judges ruled.

“However, the Panel considered in the particular circumstances of this matter that it would be inappropriate and excessive to impose a financial sanction in addition to the five-year ban since the ban sanction already incorporated a financial punishment in eliminating football as a source of revenue for Mr Siasia.

“And considering that Mr Siasia had not obtained any gain or pecuniary benefit from his unethical behaviour.”

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Siasia’s Offence

In 2010, CAS explained, a match-fixer tried to involve Siasia as a coach of a club under his (fixer’s) strict directives. The Nigerian was promised employment benefits if he fielded some players under the control of the match-fixer.

Negotiations between the match-fixer and Siasia about the terms of employment were carried out by email for two months.

But the unnamed club did not accept the former Flying Eagles gaffer’s requests which led to the collapse of negotiations.

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Career and Coaching Stint 

In this file photo taken on March 29, 2016 Nigeria’s head coach Samson Siasia looks on during their African Cup of Nations group G qualification football match between Egypt and Nigeria at the Borg el-Arab Stadium in Alexandria. KHALED DESOUKI / AFP


The Bayelsa-born coach was part of the Super Eagles side that played in the 1994 World Cup – Nigeria’s maiden appearance in the competition – and was a  winner of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) held in the same year.

He scored 13 goals for Nigeria in 51 games and was also a member of the side that clinched the bronze medal at the 1992 edition of the AFCON hosted by Senegal.

His coaching stint saw him taking the Flying Eagles to the final of the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup where they lost to a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina. The team had earlier in the year won the African Youth Championship.

In 2007, Siasia began coaching the U-23 national team, leading them to the final of the Beijing 2008 Olympics before they slumped 1-0 to Argentina. Eight years later, he was at the dugout as the Dream Team IV raced to a bronze medal finish at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Aside from serving as an assistant coach for the three-time African champions, Siasia led the Super Eagles between February and August 2016.