Soccer-FIFA beats former Nigeria coach's U.S. appeal over match-fixing ban

FILE PHOTO: 2016 Rio Olympics - Soccer - Semi-final - Men's Football Tournament Semi-final Nigeria v Germany - Corinthians Arena - Sao Paulo, Brazil - 17/08/2016. Nigeria's head coach Samson Siasia (R) reacts during the second half. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Soccer's world governing body FIFA prevailed in a U.S. appeals court over a former Nigeria national team coach seeking to overturn his lifetime ban, later reduced to five years, for fixing matches.

In a 3-0 decision on Thursday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said Samson Siasia did not show why a trial court in New York had jurisdiction over his case.

FIFA had in 2019 imposed the lifetime ban, saying Siasia violated its code of ethics over a bribery scheme for Australian matches. The ban prevented Siasia from using his U.S. Soccer Federation coaching license.

Siasia, an Atlanta resident and former Nigeria striker, sued FIFA in August 2021, saying the evidence was "grossly insufficient" and that the ban violated his due process rights under the U.S. Constitution.

But the appeals court said Siasia did not show that FIFA was "essentially at home" in New York, or agreed to be sued there because it banned his use of what Siasia called his "New York" coaching license from its alleged New York "agent," U.S. Soccer.

The unsigned decision upheld a Manhattan trial judge's Oct. 2021 dismissal of Siasia's lawsuit.

Siasia's lawyer Nitor Egbarin said the decision might be the "end of the road" for the case, but he would discuss it with his client.

FIFA has said Siasia's claims were meritless.

The soccer body is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, and had banned Siasia under Swiss law.

In June 2021, the Court of Arbitration for Sport shortened the ban, calling it too severe for a first offense.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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