Former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia
Wednesday 4 August 2021: Former Super Eagles coach Samson Siasia has sued Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) for violating his constitutional rights when it convicted him of bribery.
The ex-captain wants FIFA to return the 50,000 Swiss Franc fine and his five- year coaching ban reversed, according to a suit filed in a United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Siaisa also wants the court to award damages for the violation of his rights as a citizen of the US.
The court document reads, “Here, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (“FIFA”), the worldwide governing body of soccer, exercised governmental function when FIFA investigated and adjudicated a charge of bribery, a crime, against Samson Siasia (“Siasia”), a United States citizen, which function has traditionally been exclusively the domain of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Department of Justice, (USDOJ) and the Judicial branch of government or the State government.
“After finding Siasia guilty, FIFA then imposed a fine of 50,000 Swiss Francs and lifetime ban from using his professional coaching license that was issued by the U.S. Soccer Federation.
“As a result, the defendant is in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 of the Civil Rights Act, (“Section 1983”) among others, for depriving the plaintiff of his constitutional rights under color of state law.”
The case started when Wilson Perumal—a Singaporean was arrested in Finland and sentenced to prison for fixing a football match to hire the Nigerian to coach an Australian team.
Based on email exchanges Perumal told Siasia he would “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 to 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.
FIFA, however, banned Siasia from its competitions for life.
But the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) ruled that Siasia did not receive any money from Perumal.