November 20 – The boss of Haitian football, Yves Jean-Bart, was banned from the sport for life today following multiple accusations of systematic sexual abuse of female players.
FIFA’s ethics committee found Jean-Bart guilty of “having abused his position and sexually harassed and abused various female players, including minors” from 2014 until this year.
He was also fined CHF1 million for his reign of terror.
Jean-Bart, who has led Haitian football for over 20 years, has long denied the allegations that were first published by Britain’s Guardian newspaper in April. The following month he was temporarily suspended as FIFA began to investigate.
For years, ‘Dadou’, as he was known, used his power to control and manipulate his victims who have detailed how he warned those who suffered that they would otherwise lose their places in national team programmes.
The abuse is said to have happened at the country’s national training centre which FIFA helped fund. Several players who lived and trained there were forced into having sex. At the time of their abuse, some of them were apparently younger than 18, the age of consent in Haiti
The FIFA ruling, purportedly made on November 18, came barely 24 hours after charges against Jean-Bart were dropped in his local court – in large part because witnesses failed to testify.
An appeal will immediately be filed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, his spokesman said.
“FIFA’s decision is a travesty of justice and purely political move to avoid further controversy and bad press following a series of high-profile scandals,” Evan Nierman was quoted as saying by The Associated Press, adding somewhat laughably that Jean-Bart had been cleared by the judicial system in his own country.
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