Haitian FA president Jean Bart denies shocking claims he sexually assaulted youth players at football facility

By Sports Desk May 05, 2020

President of the Haitian Football Federation Yves Jean Bart has denied claims of brazen sexual abuse that has rocked the association to its core in recent days.

The damning allegations against Jean Bart popularly referred to as ‘Dadou,’ were made in a recently published expose by UK Guardian and concern activities at the Centre Technique National (CTN) in Croix-des-Bouquets.  Referencing anonymous sources, the publication claims the president used his power to coerce young female players into having sex with him or find themselves kicked out of the institution.

In a country beset by poverty, the CTN provides shelter and care for disadvantaged youth and provides a window of opportunity to provide for themselves through sport.  The incidents reportedly happened in the last five years.

 “There is a lady who works there who puts pressure on the girls to have sex with Dadou,” one alleged victim told the Guardian. “He will see a nice girl who is attractive and he sends the lady to tell her that she is going to be thrown out of the centre. She starts crying and then the lady says: ‘The only way to resolve this is to speak to Dadou.’ At that moment, the young girl has no choice but to put up with sexual abuse.”

The report goes on to claim that two players were forced to have abortions, including one player, who lost her virginity to Dadou when she was 17 in 2018.  Another player claims to have been almost raped by a friend of the president when she was living at the centre and that he has since tried to keep the details of that affair quiet.  Jean Bart has strongly denied the allegations, insisting that no such claims have ever been made.

“Never been any complaint against the federation, nor against the staff engaged in our academy, nor against my person. This kind of practice of sexual abuse is almost impossible in our camp centre given the physical structures, the principles of education, and continuous awareness that we have put in place,” read Jean Bart’s response.

“I would not encourage such practices in Haitian football, much less in the centre which is under my responsibility. If there were such cases, I would encourage the victims to file a complaint with the federation and the judicial authorities of the country. We are ready, at the level of the federation, to support them,” he added.

Another anonymous player, however, claimed that a fear of retaliation is what has prevented players from speaking out, particularly with families still in Haiti.  The president, who promised to take the allegations to the courts FIFA and CONCACAF, however, strongly objected to his portrayal as a ‘dangerous’ man.

 “To date, in women’s football in Haiti, where there are generations of players who are now 50 or 60 years old, there has never been, to my knowledge, even suspicions of this kind. Personally, I am and I have been a non-violent man. I don’t understand how someone can make me look like an executioner to the point where families would feel intimidated by me.”

“Our project is first of all a human project which aims to change the future of young people, to roll back the exclusion through play even if we know that in this country and even in the world some spirits are always at war against the beautiful and the good.”

 

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