March 21 – Claiming that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) failed “to evaluate key pieces of evidence” and “substantive flaws” in their reasoning, global governing body FIFA has appealed the court’s decision to overturn the lifetime ban on the former president of the Haitian Football Federation (FHF) Yves Jean-Bart.
In 2020, Jean-Bart – known as ‘Dadou’ – was banned by FIFA’s ethics committee for alleged sexual abuse against female footballers and multiple counts of alleged harassment. Jean-Bart, who has always denied wrongdoing, appealed to CAS who ruled in favour of the official, citing “the lack of coherence and inaccuracies in the statements of victims and witnesses presented by Fifa.”
FIFA has now confirmed they have appealed the CAS decision with the Swiss Federal Tribunal, accusing the panel of “failure to evaluate key pieces of evidence”.
“After having carefully analysed the CAS award, FIFA is concerned that this award contains a number of very serious procedural and substantive flaws, including the CAS panel’s failure to evaluate key pieces of evidence that were offered by FIFA,” read a statement.
“As a result, FIFA can confirm it has filed an appeal against the CAS award before the Swiss Federal Tribunal, requesting its annulment and referral back to CAS. FIFA remains strongly committed to protecting victims of sexual abuse and misconduct in football and will continue to apply ‘zero tolerance’ to any such acts perpetrated by persons falling under its jurisdiction.”
“Violation of elementary procedural rules” is one of the few grounds that allow an appeal according to the CAS statutes.
Having been cleared to return to football Jean-Bart subsequently attempted to reclaim the FHF presidency. Haitian football is currently under the management of a normalisation committee, and his return was blocked by FIFA.
FIFA wrote to the normalisation committee reminding them that they were in charge of Haitian football’s management, even though members of the committee have rarely visited Haiti due to the security issues in the country. And presumably because of fear of Jean-Bart’s supporters.
“We refer to the letters of 24 February 2023 that we received from Mr Yves Jean-Bart and his lawyers,” read the letter. “In this regard, for all intents and purposes, we would like to point that out the Bureau of the Fifa Council decided on 11 December 2020, based on art 8 par 2 of the Fifa statutes, to appoint a normalisation committee for the FHF, thus relieving the executive committee of the FHF of its functions.”
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