May 22 – A second damning report in a space of a few weeks has been published by Britain’s Guardian newspaper into alleged appalling cases of sexual abuse by Haitian FA boss Yves Jean-Bart (pictured).
At the end of April, the newspaper published serious allegations, denied by Jean-Bart, that he coerced young players at the country’s training complex, funded by FIFA and opened in 2001, into having sex.
He allegedly used the threat of expulsion from the centre to commit criminal acts within the past five years, multiple sources told the newspaper.
Now, in a follow-up article, the newspaper claims the alleged victims have received death threats while others have also come forward.
Jean-Bart claims the stories are part of a plot to remove him from the presidency of the FHF. But one former player who lives overseas told The Guardian: “A gangster called us. “If we talk, they know where our uncles, aunts, cousins are.”
A former coach who worked at the centre added: “They force some players to say good things about the president because otherwise they will attack family members living in Haiti.”
One national team player has come forward since the allegations were first published to accuse Jean-Bart, known as Dadou, of attempting to rape her and fathering children with some of her teammates.
“Dadou is a criminal,” she said. “I am one of his victims. I’m so scared. If he knows I talk to you … I lived a nightmare. It was a nightmare.”
“He tried to rape me when I was at the centre. He slept with some of my friends. He also has children with some of the girls. It’s very complicated for us there … And it’s not only about sexual abuse but also moral abuse, economic abuse, everything. That man, he ruined my life.”
A spokesman for the FHF described the latest allegations as “baseless”, adding that they were an attempt “to undermine our president, smear the Haitian Football Federation, and in the process degrade and demean our country.
“It’s shameful that the Guardian persists in repeating anonymous allegations seeking to impugn and assassinate the character of a man who has dedicated his life to helping Haiti’s young players succeed. Dr Jean-Bart and the federation look forward to being fully exonerated.”
Despite this, an investigation has been launched in Haiti and when he was asked by the Haitian radio station Magik9 whether he had fathered children with former players at the centre, Jean-Bart reportedly replied: “I have the right not to answer.”
Last week supporters of the alleged victims held a demonstration, according to The Guardian, while several of the alleged victims have apparently hired a Canadian law firm to challenge Jean-Bart.
“It is necessary to shed light on this whole affair,” Patrice Florvilus, a Haitian lawyer who is executive director of the human rights organisation Défense des Opprimées/Opprimés (Defenders of the Oppressed), told the paper.
“Mr Jean-Bart must resign or be put on notice so that the procedure can take place, particularly for women who are very afraid. This is why we are implementing a whole legal strategy to allow the women to be able to testify.”
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