February 17 – FIFA is considering lodging a rare appeal against the shock ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to lift the lifetime ban on Yves Jean-Bart, former president of the Haitian Football Federation (FHF).
FIFA is reportedly holding a meeting today to determine its response, with an appeal said to be a real possibility.
Human rights bodies reacted with disbelief to the CAS decision that the 75-year-old’s ban had been “annulled due to insufficient evidence to establish the existence of violations of the FIFA rules.”
The shocking scale of the alleged sexual abuse carried out by Jean-Bart had been laid bare in 2021 by the full report of his transgressions released by FIFA whose ethics committee found him guilty of “having abused his position and sexually harassed and abused various female players, including minors” from 2014.
Jean-Bart had his suspension overturned a despite claims from Human Rights Watch that some alleged victims were “threatened into silence”.
On Thursday the international players’ union Fifpro issued a strong statement denouncing the CAS verdict.
Fifpro said in a statement: “In light of the serious, explicit and extensively documented threats received by those asked to give evidence, and CAS’s failure to offer basic anonymity protection such as voice distortion, how does it anticipate ever being able to procure adequate evidence to discipline powerful alleged perpetrators?”
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