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Siasia rejects five-year ban

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CAS Reduces Siasia’s Life Ban to Five Years

Super Eagles Former Coach, Samson Siasia, does not accept the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) verdict on the match-fixing charge brought against him by world football governing body, FIFA, an associate of the Olympic silver medallist, Waidi Akanni, has said.

In 2019, FIFA banned Siasia from all football related activities for life over an alleged plot to fix matches. In addition, the world body also imposed a CHF 50,000 fine on the former Super Eagles striker.

FIFA based the sanction against Siasia on his liaison with Wilson Raj Perumal, a convicted match-fixer from Singapore. FIFA said it tried to contact Siasia via email, adding, however, that the coach never replied any of its messages.

FIFA had said in 2019 that Siasia was ‘guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics’ and also fined 50,000 Swiss francs ($54,000).’

Shocked by FIFA’s judgment, Siasia ran to CAS to seek justice. CAS earlier scheduled hearing on the case on March 19, 2020, but later postponed it severally owing to the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus and the travel restrictions that came with the virus.

The world adjudicatory body recently held the session virtually, giving Siasia the chance to answer to the charges.

In its verdict yesterday, CAS said the imposition of a life ban was ‘disproportionate for a first offence which was committed passively and which had not had an adverse or immediate effect on football stakeholders.’

“The panel acknowledged the need for sanctions to be sufficiently high enough to eradicate bribery and especially match fixing in football,” CAS said.

“However, the panel considered in the particular circumstances of this matter that it would be inappropriate and excessive to impose a financial sanction in addition to the five-year ban since the ban sanction already incorporated a financial punishment in eliminating football as a source of revenue for Mr. Siasia.”

But, according to Akanni, Siasia is shocked that CAS could still punish him for ‘an offence he did not commit.’

Akanni queried the wisdom in the judgment, saying a guilty verdict cannot be based on ‘passive crime.’

He said: “I am not a lawyer, but CAS showed from its statements that it has no evidence to prove that Siasia accepted to fix games.

“What is the meaning of passive crime? Who are the players he recruited to want to rig games. The guy wanted to give him a job and nothing else. The fight is still on.

“Siasia will eventually release the emails he exchanged with Perumal. There was no collateral damage to anybody. If they had any evidence they should release it to the world.”

Akanni said that Siasia didn’t know of the judgment until he called to inform him, adding, “unfortunately, Samson doesn’t read his emails.

“I am shocked that after paying all the money, this is the judgment he gets. They had a zoom meeting with CAS and he stated everything that transpired between him and Perumal. They know that if they freed him, he would sue them for disrupting his life unjustly for two years. The battle is still on.”

Akanni called on Nigerians to rally round Siasia.

“Why should they reduce a life ban to five years if they had any evidence he committed any crime.”

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Tokyo Olympics: All Nigeria’s table tennis reps knocked out

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Africa’s highest-ranked player Quadri Aruna on Tuesday crashed out of the men’s singles event of the table tennis competition at the ongoing Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Aruna who reached the quarter-finals of the event at the Rio Games in 2016 could not go far this time around as he lost 2-4 in the third round.

He lost to Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium 15-13 9-11 6-11 11-7 7-11 6-11.

His exit has brought a sad end to Team Nigeria’s campaign in the sport at this Games.

His three teammates in the sport —— Funke Oshonaike, Offiong Edem, Olajide Omotayo —- have all been eliminated.

Nigeria did not qualify for the doubles events.

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John Terry leaves Aston Villa, reveals next plan

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Aston Villa assistant coach, John Terry, has announced his departure from the club.

Terry, in a statement via Aston Villa’s official website on Monday, also revealed his next plan.

The Chelsea legend had since been linked with vacancies at Bristol City and West Brom United.

Terry’s statement read in part, “It has been a tremendous honour and privilege to have spent these last three years at Aston Villa, but I feel now is the right time to make the extremely difficult decision to move on.

“My immediate plan is to spend some quality time with my family and, thereafter, hopefully, take up some invitations to visit clubs and managers around Europe to develop my aim and objective of becoming a manager.

“I’ll forever be indebted to the gaffer for giving me the opportunity to start my coaching career at such a wonderful club.

“Finally, I would also like to thank all the players and staff and wish them all the very best for the season ahead and say a huge thank you to the wonderful Aston Villa fans for their support.”

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Solskjaer opens up on Pogba rejecting new Man United contract to join PSG

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Manchester United boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has opened up on midfielder, Paul Pogba rejecting a new contract at the club in a bid to join Paris Saint-Germain.

Solskjaer also expressed confidence that Pogba will be part of his Man United squad next season.

He said this while reacting to reports that the France international has rejected a new deal at the club because he wants to join PSG.

Pogba, whose current deal with Man United will expire next summer, has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford to join PSG.

But Solskjaer has now described the report as ‘speculations’.

Asked if Pogba has rejected a contract and whether Man United will need to sell him, Solskjaer told reporters following the Red Devils’ pre-season 4-2 defeat against QPR on Saturday: “There are always speculations about Paul.

“The talks between the club and Paul’s representatives, I am not in the detail of every single one of them, so I have got nothing to say really about that.

Asked further on PSG’s interest in Pogba, Solskjaer continued: “There’s always speculation about Paul and there’s always clubs being interested.

“Of course, we have seen Paul at his best and Paul knows what we feel about it. And of course, I have enjoyed my time working with him and hopefully, we can work together. Let’s see what happens.”

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