FIFA bans Haitian soccer president for life

Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, arrives at his hearing at the Crois-Des-Bouquets prosecutor's office, after being accused of sexually abusing young footballers at the country's national training centre, Crois-Des-Bouquets, Haiti, May 14, 2020.
REUTERS/Jeanty Junior Augustin, file

Haiti soccer federation president Yves Jean-Bart has been banned for life from the sport by FIFA, the world governing body for football, following accusations of systemic sexual abuse of female players.

The FIFA ethics committee found Jean-Bart guilty of “having abused his position and sexually harassed and abused various female players, including minors.” He was also fined US$1.1 million.

Jean-Bart denied the allegations, which involves the national team players. The accusations were first revealed by British newspaper, The Guardian in April.

The abuse is said to have happened at the country’s national training center at Croix-des- Bouquets, which FIFA help fund. It was known as “The Ranch.”

As head of Haitian soccer since 2000, Jean-Bart “wielded huge power into the government, political and legal systems,” Human Rights Watch said.

Haitian state authorities have been urged by the advocacy group to investigate the allegations and protect the players, who also said they were intimidated and threatened.

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