Fifa extends ban for Haiti's Jean-Bart and widens sexual abuse investigation

Yves Jean-Bart has been accused of sexually abusing girls at the Centre Technique National in Croix-des-Bouquets. Photograph: Jean Marc Herve Abelard/EPA

Ed Aarons, Romain Molina, & Alex Cizmic, The Guardian, August 20, 2020

Fifa has extended the suspension of the Haitian football federation president, Yves Jean-Bart, while it investigates allegations of sexual abuse and has also provisionally banned two other FHF officials including the technical director, Wilner Etienne.

Jean-Bart, known as Dadou, was initially suspended from all football-related activity for 90 days in May after an investigation was opened following allegations first made in the Guardian that he coerced several players at the Centre Technique National in Croix-des-Bouquets into having sex. The allegations have been strongly denied by Jean-Bart.

The 72-year-old’s suspension was due to expire on Sunday but Fifa confirmed in a statement on Thursday that it has now been extended for another 90 days after “a request by the chairwoman of the investigatory chamber”.

“This sanction has been imposed in connection with ongoing investigations into Mr Jean-Bart, as well as other officials within the FHF, who were identified as having allegedly been involved (as principals, accomplices or instigators) in acts of systematic sexual abuse against female football players,” said the statement.

“In this respect, the investigatory chamber has expanded the scope of the aforementioned investigations by opening formal proceedings against Nela Joseph (girls’ supervisor at the Centre Technique National in Croix-des-Bouquets) and Wilner Etienne (Technical Director of the FHF). The chairwoman of the investigatory chamber has also provisionally banned the two officials from taking part in any football activity (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level for a period of 90 days, in accordance with articles 84 and 85 of the FCE.”

The former technical director Antoine Doret alleged in the Guardian this month that Joseph helped facilitate abuse by Jean-Bart at the centre, but she has not responded to repeated requests for comment.

Fifa’s statement added: “Furthermore, preliminary investigation proceedings are currently being carried out that include the analysis of potential offences committed by other FHF/Haitian officials. The decisions taken by the chairpersons of the adjudicatory and investigatory chambers of the Ethics Committee have been duly notified to Mr Jean-Bart, Ms Joseph and Mr Etienne.”


Posted August 23, 2020