FIFA has announced that the ethics committee has opened an investigation to look into allegations of sexual abuse in Gabonese football.
Former under-17s boys coach Patrick Assoumou Eyi, known as “Capello”, is facing charges along with two other coaches that include raping minors and sexual assault as reported by The Guardian. Capello faces up to 30 years in prison if found guilty of the charges which also include attempted rape and endangering another’s life.
The president of Gabon’s senior league, Serge Mombo, has also been accused of sexually abusing young players and forcing them into sexual actions in order to gain a place in national squads. Mombo was re-elected president in June 2021 and is serving as kit man to the national team at this years Africa Cup of Nations currently taking place in Cameroon.
A FIFA spokesperson said “Given the seriousness of the allegations being made, we can confirm that FIFA’s independent ethics committee has opened an investigation and is currently looking into the matter. Please understand that no further comment can be made at this stage.”
In response to the allegations Mombo said “I wanted to laugh about it but the facts are too serious to pass up. I feel touched in my self-esteem and the perpetrators of this plot will answer for their actions. The archives are there to show that this action to destabilize the same authors does not date from today. I was an international referee, now President of the League, I have never been at the centre of these dirty works which I condemn with the utmost energy. It’s unethical to smear people for a job. The position of kitman in the national team is not contractual, it is a one-off.”