— Published 21 March 2023

FIFA does not let go of the Jean-Bart case

A new case for the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). It was filed on Monday 20 March by FIFA. The world soccer body announced its decision to appeal the cancellation by the Lausanne-based court of the life suspension of the former president of the Haitian Football Federation, Yves Jean-Bart (pictured above). He was accused of rape and sexual harassment of several players of the national team, some of them minors. “FIFA has decided to appeal against the decision of the CAS to the Swiss Federal Court, requesting the cancellation of the decision of the CAS and a new examination of the case” by the same sports court, it said in a statement. Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation for two decades, had been suspended for life from all football-related activities by FIFA, after its judgment chamber found him guilty in November 2020 of sexual assault and harassment. It had also ordered him to pay a fine of one million Swiss francs. But in a decision handed down on February 14, CAS overturned the lifetime suspension, considering that the evidence against the Haitian leader was “inconsistent, unclear and contradictory“. The case could have ended there, but FIFA seems determined to go through with it. It explains that the examination of the CAS decision reveals “very serious procedural shortcomings (…), in particular the fact that certain key evidence provided by FIFA was not taken into account by the CAS Panel“. The statement continued, “FIFA is firmly committed to continuing to protect the victims of sexual abuse and misconduct in soccer and to applying zero tolerance to any such acts perpetrated by persons subject to its jurisdiction.