FIFA extended an investigation into allegations of systematic sexual abuse of underage players in Gabon by extending suspensions to four football officials on Tuesday.
FIFA said its ethics committee had opened formal proceedings against Patrick Assoumou Eyi, league official Serge Mombo and coaches Triphel Mabicka and Orphe Mickala. Eyi is a former national under-17 team coach accused of raping boys.
The investigation was launched after the British daily The Guardian reported statements from alleged victims in December. They said they were lured into Eyi’s house which he called the Garden of Eden.
Eyi was suspended by the Gabonese Football Federation in December and FIFA extended this ban worldwide and provisionally to the other three officials.
These sanctions were imposed in the context of ongoing criminal investigations, FIFA said in a statement.
FIFA ethics investigators have received a complaint from global players’ union FIFPRO, which says the abuse of underage boys in Gabon runs deep in football there and is an open secret that has not been addressed. for years.
The union also alleged that people closely linked to the Gabonese federation had threatened players and witnesses during the investigation.
Gabon is the latest country investigated for systematic sexual abuse within its football federation. FIFA ethics judges have previously banned officials in Afghanistan and Haiti.
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