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FIFA Wins Dismissal of Lawsuit by Nigerian Football Coach

Paul, Weiss secured the dismissal of a lawsuit against Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) brought in the Southern District of New York by Samson Siasia, a Nigerian football (soccer) coach residing in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2019, FIFA’s Ethics Committee conducted an investigation and a disciplinary proceeding in Switzerland against Siasia, concluding that Siasia violated the provisions of the 2009 FIFA Code of Ethics related to bribery. FIFA’s decision was largely upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. Siasia’s lawsuit alleged that FIFA’s investigation and disciplinary proceedings violated his rights under the U.S. Constitution.

FIFA moved to dismiss Siasia’s complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction, as well as for failure to state a claim. Senior U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein granted FIFA’s motion to dismiss on personal jurisdiction grounds. In his opinion, Judge Hellerstein agreed that the complaint failed to establish sufficient contact between FIFA and the state of New York for the court to exercise either general or specific personal jurisdiction over FIFA.

The Paul, Weiss team included litigation partner Christopher Boehning and counsel Daniel Levi.

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