FIFA to help run Haiti federation amid reports Jean-Bart is still exerting influence

FIFA has appointed a committee for the Haitian Football Association (FHF) after it found “strong indications” that Yves Jean-Bart is still exerting his influence despite being banned for life last month.

Yves Jean-Bart was expelled from football last month after a FIFA ethics committee investigation confirmed claims by female national team players of systematic sexual abuse since 2014.   -  AP

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 suspends Haiti football chief accused of rape  

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.

“It also noted that the failures in governance structures that have facilitated the abuse of power at the FHF are severe and deeply rooted and that a lengthy reform process of the FHF is now also needed.

Haiti's football boss banned for life by FIFA for sexual abuse

“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.”

The committee will also be responsible for running the FHF's daily affairs, reviewing the federation's statutes, as well as organising and conducting elections of a new Executive Committee.

“All members will be subject to an eligibility check carried out by the FIFA Review Committee in accordance with the FIFA Governance Regulations,” FIFA said.

A spokesman for Jean-Bart was not immediately available for comment.

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