FIFA life ban in Haiti sexual abuse scandal confirmed by CAS
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The latest ruling in a sexual abuse scandal in Haitian soccer saw a FIFA life ban for a senior official upheld Thursday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport just weeks after his longtime boss had a life ban lifted by a different panel of judges.
The court said ”evidence against Rosnick Grant regarding the sexual abuse charges was sufficiently convincing” and confirmed his expulsion from soccer.
FIFA's ethics committee had investigated “acts of harassment, sexual abuse, threats and coercion against female referees” by Grant, who had been vice president of the Haiti soccer federation and its head of refereeing.
Three CAS judges “considered the testimony of a victim, who had traveled to Switzerland for the hearing, to be accurate, coherent and credible,” the court said.
“The panel also noted," CAS said, “the inconsistency and imprecision in the statements of the witnesses called by Rosnick Grant, most of whom stated, in a contradictory and unconvincing manner,” that the allegations against him were a conspiracy.
Grant’s ban was upheld weeks after former Haiti federation president Yves Jean-Bart had his life ban overturned by three different judges who criticized the quality of evidence presented by FIFA.
FIFA alleged Jean-Bart had raped underage girls and habitually had sexual relationships with players during 20 years leading the Caribbean island’s soccer federation.
Potential witnesses in Jean-Bart’s case were alleged to have been intimidated and the judges in their verdict acknowledged some might have felt threatened.
FIFA has filed an appeal in the Jean-Bart case to the Swiss supreme court.
At Grant’s two-day appeal in February, “numerous witnesses were heard, some of whom benefited from special protective measures,” CAS said.
Grant’s fine imposed by FIFA was cut from 100,000 Swiss francs ($109,000) to 35,000 Swiss francs ($38,000) which was more appropriate to his salary level in Haiti, the judges decided.
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The Associated Press