Siasia Sues FIFA In US Court, Wants His Ban Overturned
Former Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia has filed a lawsuit in New York Federal court against the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) after he was convicted of bribery.
Recall CAS had alleged that a match-fixer tried to involve Siasia as a coach of a club under his (fixer’s) strict directives in 2010. It was alleged that he was promised employment benefits if he fielded some players under the control of the match-fixer.
According to CAS, negotiations between the match-fixer and Siasia about the terms of employment were carried out by email for two months, but negotiation collapsed after the unnamed club failed to accept the former Flying Eagles gaffer’s requests.
He was initially handed a life ban for accepting to “receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches”, an allegation he denied.
In June, CAS reduced the life ban to 5 years, and overturned a fine of $5000 imposed on the former Nigerian striker by FIFA after an appeal.
In a lawsuit filed Monday in New York federal court, the former Nigerian international claims only the US Government can charge him.
However, Siasia wants his conviction overturned, the $50,000 fine he paid returned, his five-year coaching ban reversed and damages awarded for the alleged civil rights violations, according to the Atlanta resident’s court papers.
“In convicting Siasia of bribery, FIFA relied on Swiss bribery law. If any crime was committed, only the FBI or Georgia State Police could investigate and bring charges of commercial bribery,” his suit says, adding that “Georgia does not criminalize commercial bribery.”
Siasia said FIFA violated his rights to due process under the Fifth and 14th Amendments when it convicted him for his minor role in a wide-ranging conspiracy to fix hundreds of matches by paying off corrupt players and officials.
His suit also stated that FIFA’s imposing the fine and revoking his license constituted “cruel and unusual punishment” barred by the Eighth Amendment.
The coach was licensed through the United States Soccer Federation, a FIFA affiliate, in 2009.