KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The international players’ union has paid tribute to the “extraordinary courage” of the female players and officials who have brought an end to the corrupt and abusive reign of Yves Jean-Bart at the Haitian Football Federation.
This followed a decision by the ethics committee of world federation FIFA to ban Jean-Bart from all football activity for life after finding him guilty of sexual harassment and abuse of female players, including minors. He has also been fined 1m Swiss francs.
It was the second such verdict in 17 months against a sexually predatory national football president. In June 2019 Keramuudin Karim, the head of the Afghan federation and a senior figure within the Asian confederation, was similarly banned for life and fined for “having abused his position and sexually abused various female players.”
The Haitian scandal was brought to light through the intensive and patient work of a number of investigative journalists, notably Romain Molina.
Jean-Bart consistently denied all charges and sought a local court ruling to support his rebuttals.
FIFPRO, in a statement concerning the verdict on Jean-Bart and which ignored the media’s investigatory role, said: “The landmark decision was made possible by the extraordinary courage of the survivors, victims and witnesses who came forward to hold Jean-Bart to account.”
Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, the FIFPRO general secretary, said: “This decision is testament to the strength and bravery of the players who risked so much to protect future generations of girls and boys, defending their dignity and their right to play football free from abuse.”
FIFA ethics statement:
The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Yves Jean-Bart, the President of the Haitian Football Association (FHF) and former FIFA standing committee member, guilty of having abused his position and sexually harassed and abused various female players, including minors, in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
The aforementioned ethics proceedings are part of an extensive investigation concerning 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 between 2014 and 2020. The proceedings are still pending with respect to other FHF officials.
In its decision, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Jean-Bart had breached art. 23 (Protection of physical and mental integrity) and art. 25 (Abuse of position) of the FIFA Code of Ethics and sanctioned him with a life ban from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level. In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 1,000,000 has been imposed on Mr Jean-Bart.
The decision was taken on 18 November 2020 and the terms of it were notified to Mr Jean-Bart today, the date on which the ban comes into force. In accordance with art. 78 par. 2 of the FIFA Code of Ethics, the full, motivated decision will be notified to Mr Jean-Bart in the next 60 days, and will subsequently be published on legal.fifa.com.