Haiti’s Jean-Bart remains free to return after Swiss court backs CAS sex-abuse ruling

July 7 – Swiss federal judges have dismissed FIFA’s appeal against a ruling that overturned its life ban on Yves Jean-Bart, the former president of Haiti’s football federation, for alleged sexual abuse of women’s national team players.

The verdict from Switzerland’s supreme court released on Thursday rejected FIFA’s request, filed in March, to annul a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling that lifted Jean-Bart’s expulsion.

Human rights bodies reacted with disbelief when CAS decided the then 75-year-old’s ban should be “annulled due to insufficient evidence”.

But the Swiss court, which rarely overturns CAS judgements, agreed with the ruling even though FIFA argued that CAS judges failed to evaluate some evidence.

The decision by three Swiss Federal Tribunal judges was dated June 28, less than a month before Haiti makes its debut at the Women’s World Cup – against England in Brisbane.

Ironically Haiti’s women progressed through qualifying just at the time long-time federation president Jean-Bart, known as “Dadou”, was banished from the sport. Most of the women’s team play their club football in France.

FIFA’s ethics committee had banned Jean-Bart in November 2020 after hearing allegations of multiple sexual offenses against women and girls who were in national team squads. Witnesses in Haiti were alleged to have been threatened not to give evidence.

Jean-Bart denied the allegations and its subsequent judgement. CAS ruled that “none of the testimonies heard were sufficiently precise and convincing to establish (his) guilt.”

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