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U.S. COURT GIVES FIFA 21 DAYS TO RESPOND TO SIASIA’S SUIT OVER HIS COACHING LICENCE BAN

A United States court, Southern District of New York has issued a summon on August 5th, 2021 with a 21-day ultimatum to the world football body, FIFA, to respond to former Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia’s suit challenging his coach licence ban and indictment for bribery.

The court insist that FIFA has to file its response to the suit and serve its answer on the former Nigerian Super Eagles coach within 21 days of being served with the summons.

The court clerk, S. James, who signed the document, stated that: “A lawsuit has been filed against you. The answer or motion must be served on the plaintiff or plaintiff’s attorney, whose name and address are: If you fail to respond, judgment by default will be entered against you for the relief demanded in the complaint.

“You also must file your answer or motion with the court.”

FIFA had on August 16, 2019, placed a lifetime ban on Siasia’s coach licence and imposed a monetary fine of 50,000 Swiss Francs on him.

Siasia filed an appeal against the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). The Appeal panel in its decision handed down on June 21, 2021, reduced the lifetime ban on Siasia’s coach licence to five years, and dismissed the monetary fine imposed on him by FIFA, describing the lifetime ban with the monetary fine of 50,000 Swiss Francs as cruel and unusual punishment.

Siasia filed the suit on August 2, 2021, challenging FIFA’s ban on his coach licence and conviction for bribery. He is seeking for total cancellation of the lifetime or any ban on his coach licence.

He also praying to the court to order FIFA to make “global public retraction of guilty verdict of accepting bribe, compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and court costs.”

Siasia’s road to being banned for life by FIFA started when he was approached by a match-fixer, Wilson Perumal, in 2010, who offered him a job with an Australian club.

Perumal revealed to him how he intended to run the club fixing matches behind the scene without involving Siasia, who would only be expected to strictly face his job as the head coach.

But despite the match-fixing clauses in the offer in the deal, Siasia accepted to play along while also being cautious about a backlash it may bring.

Perumal was later arrested by the police in Finland and convicted of bribery and conspiracy to match-fixing. Perumal turned over his electronic devices containing contact names and email and text communication to the authorities.

Finnish authorities then turned over the information to FIFA which then went on to convict Siasia based on the email communication between him and Perumal.

 

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