Samson Siasia, former Super Eagles player and coach, who was handed a life ban from football activities by FIFA, has had his sanction reduced to five years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
In 2019, the world football governing body had found Siasia “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA code of ethics.”
The 53-year-old, who led Nigeria to two Olympic medals in men’s football, was also fined 50,000 Swiss francs ($54,000).
But in a statement on Monday, the arbitration court said the imposition of a life ban was “disproportionate for a first offence which was committed passively and which had not had an adverse or immediate effect on football stakeholders” while the fine was also set aside.
“The panel acknowledged the need for sanctions to be sufficiently high enough to eradicate bribery and especially match-fixing in football,” the statement added.
“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.”
CAS also backdated the ban date to August 16, 2019.
Siasia, who played as a striker, had 51 appearances for Nigeria, in which he scored thirteen goals, and was part of the team that participated in the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
He won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and was also a member of the Nigerian team that won bronze at the 1992 African showpiece in Senegal.
He participated in the national team over a period of 11 years and was recognised in Nigeria as the third-leading scorer for the national team.