FIFA moves forward with rape investigation of Haiti football chief, case to be handed over to disciplinary arm

FIFA said the case would now be taken up by its disciplinary arm, the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee.

Agence France-Presse October 15, 2020 22:41:46 IST
FIFA moves forward with rape investigation of Haiti football chief, case to be handed over to disciplinary arm

Representative image.

Lausanne, Switzerland: FIFA's investigative arm has completed its report on Haitian Football Federation president Yves Jean-Bart, who is accused of raping underage players, the governing body of world football said on Thursday.

FIFA said the case would now be taken up by its disciplinary arm, the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee.

The investigation followed a report in the Guardian in April that Jean-Bart sexually abused young female footballers at the country's national training centre.

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

According to girls and former officials quoted by the Guardian in articles in April and August, Jean-Bart raped many underage players.

Saying they had been pressured to remain silent, the alleged victims told the newspaper, on condition of anonymity, that at least two underage players had to get abortions after Jean-Bart assaulted them.

FIFA said on Thursday that the investigation had been expanded to include Yvette Felix, an assistant coach at the training centre, who has also been banned fro football for 90 days.

That follows FIFA's announcement in August that investigations had been widened to include other federation officials "who were identified as having allegedly been involved (as principals, accomplices or instigators) in acts of systematic sexual abuse against female football players".

At the time, FIFA suspended two other Haitian football officials, Nella Joseph, supervisor of girls' football at the training centre, and Wilner Etienne, technical director of the Haitian football federation, for 90 days.

Jean-Bart, 73, has been running the FHF for two decades. He won a sixth term unopposed in February.

He denies all the accusations and has filed a complaint in Paris against a French journalist who co-authored the Guardian investigation.

The construction of the training centre at Croix-des-Bouquets, a suburb of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, was funded by a FIFA programme.

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