Siasia takes FIFA to US court, wants ban overturned

Siasia takes FIFA to US court, wants ban overturned

Former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia says FIFA ran afoul of his constitutional rights after he was convicted of bribery. In a lawsuit filed Monday in New York federal court, the former Nigerian international claims only the US Government can charge him. The 53-year-old was initially sanctioned in 2019 by FIFA for agreeing to “receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches.” But after he appealed against the life-ban, it was reduced to five years by the Court of Arbitration for Sports. 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.

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Idowu Babalola

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