World governing body FIFA has now confirmed the official opening of an investigation following allegations of sexual abuse in Gabonese football. The investigation will be conducted by FIFA’s independent ethics committee.
Among those facing charges of sexual assault is former Under-17 coach Patrick Assoumou Eyi – better known as “Capello”. The charges levied against Eyi include the endangerment of the life of another and attempted rape on minors. If found guilty, Eyi faces spending up to 30 years in federal prison.
Accused of similar charges is leading Gabonese football official Serge Mombo, who has also been accused of demanding sexual favours from young players in return for a spot on the country’s national teams. Mombo, who is set to serve as the “kit man” for the country’s senior men’s team at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, has vehemently denied the allegations.
According to a statement recently made by a spokesperson for FIFA, the organisation is currently “looking into” the matter. The spokesperson said the allegations are being treated as “serious”, and that as such, no further comments will be made until such time as the investigation has been finalised.
Mombo on Friday took to Facebook to tell of how he had initially wanted to laugh about the allegations. He said the charges are however too serious to “pass up” and that he will resist all efforts to tarnish his reputation.
He also added that he considered the “perpetrators” of the plot to be guilty of unethical behaviour.
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