FIFA appeal after CAS overturns ex-Haiti football boss's lifetime ban

Hearing of Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation in Crois-Des-Bouquets
Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mask, arrives at a hearing at the Crois-Des-Bouquets prosecutor's office. Crois-Des-Bouquets, Haiti, May 14, 2020. REUTERS/Jeanty Junior Augustin

March 20 (Reuters) - FIFA has appealed to the Swiss Federal Tribunal after sport's highest court CAS annulled a lifetime ban on ex-Haitian football federation president Yves Jean-Bart following allegations of sexual harassment, soccer's governing body said on Monday.

FIFA had investigated the allegations against Jean-Bart by victims, their friends and family members which detailed how he coerced girls into sex by threatening they would lose their places in national team programmes.

Jean-Bart, now 75, denied the allegations and was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Haitian justice system on Nov. 19 2020.

However, the following day FIFA banned him for life and fined him one million Swiss francs ($1.08 million) after finding him guilty of sexually harassing and abusing multiple female players, including minors.

Jean-Bart referred the decision in 2021 to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which upheld his appeal last month after they found "inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the statements of the victims and witnesses" that were presented by FIFA.

But the world soccer body on Monday said: "FIFA is concerned that this award contains a number of very serious procedural and substantive flaws, including the CAS Panel's failure to evaluate key pieces of evidence that were offered by FIFA.

"As a result, FIFA can confirm it has filed an appeal against the CAS award before the Swiss Federal Tribunal, requesting its annulment and referral back to CAS."

($1 = 0.9268 Swiss francs)

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.