By Salifu Usman, Abuja
The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has again shifted the hearing of the appeal filed by former Super Eagles head coach, Samson Siasia, challenging his life ban by FIFA, to next year’s February.
The case which was listed for hearing yesterday, could not proceed due to the renewed spike in COVID-19 pandemic cases in Europe
However, February 3, 2021 has been fixed as a new date for hearing on the case. This is the third time the case will be listed for hearing since the Nigerian-born soccer tactician challenged the life ban slammed on him last year by the world soccer governing body for purportedly accepting to fix a match.
The case was earlier scheduled for March 19, 2020, but was postponed to October 6, 2020, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most Nigerian football fans were looking forward to the hearing of the case and the final decision that may determine the fate of Nigeria’s most decorated coaches.
In August last year, FIFA pronounced a life ban on the former Nigeria international from participating in all football activity, saying he had been found guilty of accepting an offer to receive bribes in order to manipulate matches. As if that was not enough, FIFA also slammed a fine of CHF 50,000 ($51,000) on Siasia, who led Nigeria U-20 and U-23 teams to second-place finishes at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
He has pleaded not guilty on the charges preferred against him, saying that FIFA’s position on the matter was unfounded and presumptuous.
There were reports of the Nigerian coach having correspondence with notorious Asian match fixer, Raj Peruval, a claim Siasia insisted never went beyond the offer of a job opportunity in Australia, which never materialised.