Gabon FA chief still in post despite suspension recommendation, FIFA says case is ongoing

January 22 – FIFA has yet to act on an independent investigator’s recommendation in November that the president of the Gabonese football association (Fegafoot) should be immediately suspended.

The report in The Guardian newspaper says Pierre-Alain Mounguengui,  who has been accused of covering up widespread sexual abuse, is still awaiting trial and could face up to three years in prison if found guilty

There is no suggestion Mounguengui – who was re-elected as Fegafoot’s president for a third term in 2022 – has been accused of sexual abuse himself.

But a month after Mounguengui’s re-election, Fifa opened formal proceedings against the former Gabon Under-17s coach Patrick Assoumou Eyi – known as Capello – and three other coaches as part of its investigation into allegations of widespread sexual abuse.

Eyi later admitted charges of raping, grooming and exploiting young players and remains in prison awaiting sentencing.

The Guardian claims that it is understood that last summer FIFA’s ethics committee appointed an experienced independent investigator and his team to gather evidence for the case.

Their report was apparently submitted in November after hearing from whistleblowers and witnesses of sexual abuse and recommended that Mounguengui be suspended immediately pending further investigations.

“Since the matter is ongoing, we strongly reject any claim that FIFA is not acting upon allegations or information it has received so far in relation to this case,” a FIFA spokesman was quoted as saying. “We would like to reiterate that FIFA will continue to pursue any wrongdoing while supporting its member association in building capacities to prevent future cases.”

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