FIFA ban Haiti football chief Yves Jean-Bart for life after sex abuse investigation – Sports News , Firstpost

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Jean-Bart, 73, was found guilty by FIFA of abusing his position and of harassing and sexually abusing various players, including minors, ruled the ethics committee independent of the governing body of world football.

Representative image. Reuters

Lausanne: The president of the Haitian football federation, Yves Jean-Bart, was banned for life by FIFA and sentenced Friday to a fine of more than a million dollars.

Jean-Bart, 73, was found guilty by FIFA of abusing his position and of harassing and sexually abusing various players, including minors, ruled the ethics committee independent of the governing body of world football.

Jean-Bart, who earlier Friday was cleared by Haitian justice, reacted via a statement calling the FIFA decision a “parody of justice and a purely political decision”. He said the body had “not examined the actual evidence.”

In making public their decision to close the case against Jean-Bart, the Haitian authorities said in a five-page document that “no evidence and no name (of the victim) has been found”.

On the other hand, the FIFA ethics committee declared that it had banned Jean-Bart for life “from any football-related activity (administrative, sporting or otherwise) at the national and international level”.

He was fined one million Swiss francs ($ 1.1 million; 925,000 euros).

He said the investigation concerned “systematic acts of sexual abuse against female football players between 2014 and 2020” and said proceedings were still ongoing with other officials of the Haitian federation.

FIFA’s decision has been hailed by the global players’ union FIFPro, which called it “a landmark decision made possible by the extraordinary courage of the survivors, victims and witnesses who have come forward.”

“Jean-Bart’s lifetime ban can only be the beginning,” said FIFPro general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann.

“We will continue to support FIFA investigations to ensure that all those who have abused their positions in Haiti are held to account.”

The investigation follows an article in the British newspaper The Guardian in April, that Jean-Bart sexually abused young footballers at the country’s national training center.

The accusations led to the opening of the criminal investigation in Haiti, as well as the suspension of Jean-Bart by FIFA on May 25.

According to girls and former officials cited by The Guardian in articles from April and August, Jean-Bart raped numerous underage players.

FIFA suspended two other Haitian football officials, Nella Joseph, supervisor of women’s football at the training center, and Wilner Etienne, technical director of the Haitian football federation.

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