FIFA judges bans football official for sexually harassing female refs

Referee Stephanie Frappart gives directions during the French Cup final soccer match between Nice and Nantes at the Stade de France stadium AP

FIFA judges banned a male soccer official from Zimbabwe for five years on Thursday for sexually harassing female referees.

Obert Zhoya was found guilty of "abusing his position to sexually harass" three women, FIFA said in announcing the verdict of its ethics committee. He was fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,300).

Zhoya had been secretary general of the Zimbabwe Football Association's referees committee with influence over training match officials and appointing them to games.

FIFA said evidence including written statements from the women led to the charges against Zhoya being proven. The allegations were first reported in 2020.

The latest sexual abuse case for FIFA follows investigations and sanctions against senior soccer officials in Afghanistan and Haiti. An investigation is ongoing in Gabon.

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