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FIFA to help run Haiti's federation

Last updated 2 months ago | By Reuters

FIFA has appointed a committee to oversee the operations of Haiti's football federation amid concerns its former president is still exerting influence despite a life ban after the global sporting body found him guilty of sexual abuse and harassment.

FIFA had provisionally suspended Yves Jean-Bart in May while it investigated multiple allegations against him by victims, their friends and family members detailing how he coerced girls into sex by threatening they would lose their places in national team programmes.

Jean-Bart, who was cleared by the Haitian justice system, has denied the allegations, with a spokesman saying he would appeal against FIFA's decision to sport's highest court.

FIFA said in a statement on Friday that multiple sources had asserted that Jean-Bart and his associates were seeking to prevent or discourage victims and witnesses from giving testimony.

"Furthermore, the Bureau (of the FIFA council) noted that there are strong indications that the (Haitian Football Federation) President is still exerting his influence within the FHF by being involved in the running of its daily affairs, despite his life ban," FIFA said.

In this file photo dated Thursday, May 21, 2020, Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mask, arrives for a court hearing regarding allegations that he abused female athletes at the country's national training centre, in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti. In a verdict announced Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, the FIFA ethics committee has found Jean-Bart guilty, banned him from the sport for life and fined him dollars 1.1 million, following accusations of systematic sexual abuse of female players. [AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery, FILE]

"In view of these circumstances, the Bureau is of the opinion that it is very difficult for the FHF to carry out its operations and that FIFA must now appoint a normalisation committee, which will also ensure that the ongoing ethics investigations may continue unimpeded."

Jean-Bart's spokesman Evan Nierman denied that the former FHF chief was still exerting influence.

"Since stepping aside during his provisional suspension, Jean-Bart is not interfering, and is no longer involved, in the daily affairs within the FHF," Nierman said.

"The judicial system in Haiti cleared Jean-Bart because the charges are false and you cannot produce credible evidence of things that did not occur." 

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