Siasia loses appeal against FIFA ban in U.S court
Former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia has lost his suit against the world football governing body FIFA in an Appeal Court in the United States.
Siasia, who also played for the Nigeria national team before becoming a coach, was seeking to overturn a lifetime ban, later reduced to five years, for fixing matches.
As reported by Reuters, a 3-0 decision was awarded in favour of FIFA on Thursday at the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.
The court ruled Siasia did not show why a trial court in New York had jurisdiction over his case.
In August 2021, it would be recalled that Siasia’s travails started when he was approached by a match-fixer, Wilson Perumal, in 2010, while seeking a job with an Australian club.
In one of the handful of emails exchanged between Perumal and Siasia and sighted by this paper, the Siasia appeared eager to get the job he was being offered despite some of the illegal clauses being pushed by the match-fixer.
“You have a reputation as a silver medalist coach at the Beijing Olympics. I wish to be transparent with you in this matter. I am going to take over a club. I want to engage you as the head coach. It is an Australia ‘A’ league team.
“You know my nature of business. I will personally bring in 5 Players and dictate the show. You will do your coaching job and play along. I will not drag you into what I am doing. My players will take instructions from me. You will have just close one eye and do your coaching job. There is no relegation in this league. No one can fire you. What amount will u be asking for as salary,” Perumal said in one of his emails to Siasia.
Though seeking to know the extra details of the monetary terms he was being offered, Siasia was also cautious in his approach.
“Am I going to pay taxes on this amount if agreed, and what about signing on fees, accommodation, and car,” Siasia asked.
“Also need to know about flight tickets for me and family. I will be waiting for your soonest response because I have other offers am looking at,” Siasia added in one correspondence.
The evidence established against Siasia by FIFA led to his ban, which effectively prevented him from using his U.S. Soccer Federation coaching license and also barred him from any other involvement in football globally.
Siasia, an Atlanta resident, sued FIFA in August 2021, saying the evidence was “grossly insufficient” and that the ban violated his due process rights under the U.S. Constitution.
But the appeals court said Siasia did not show that FIFA was “essentially at home” in New York, or agreed to be sued there because it banned his use of what Siasia called his “New York” coaching license.
The unsigned decision upheld a Manhattan trial judge’s October 2021 dismissal of Siasia’s lawsuit even as FIFA maintained the claims by the former Nigeria international were meritless.
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