The Sunday Mail
FIFA Ethics Committee
ZURICH, Switzerland, March 23, 2023 –
FIFA have underlined their zero tolerance to cases of sexual abusers with the world football governing body on Thursday provisionally suspending a coach in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Jonathan Bukabakwa on allegations of abusing young players.
The global body, through their Ethics Committee also suspended former Zimbabwe Referees Committee secretary Obert Zhoya after finding him guilty of abusing female referees in the country.
FIFA are also still probing allegations that former ZIFA board member Bryton Malandule, who was also the chairman of the Referees Committee, was also involved the sexual abuse for favours of female referees, who officiated in different leagues in Zimbabwe.
In the latest sanctions, FIFA wielded the axe on Bukabakwa after the DRC coach was implicated in allegations of abusing players.
According to reports from Zurich, at the beginning of November 2022, serious allegations related to the sexual abuse of minors in the Congo DR Football Association (FECOFA) were made on several media platforms.
In particular, various football coaches of different regions and leagues in DRC were accused of having abused minor players.
“The investigatory chamber additionally requested that the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee impose provisional sanctions against Mr Bukabakwa
“Consequently, the investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee initiated preliminary investigations against several coaches in Congo DR, including Jonathan Bukabakwa, former youth coach at clubs of the Urban Football Agreement of the regions of Lipopo and Malebo (EUFKIN-Lipopo and EUFKIN-Malebo).
“On 16 February 2023, taking into account the relevant information and documentation obtained throughout the preliminary stage of the investigations, the investigatory chamber determined that, pursuant to article 62 paragraph 1 of the FIFA Code of Ethics (“FCE”), there was a prima facie case and decided to open formal investigation proceedings against Mr Bukabakwa for possible violations of article 24 of the FCE,’’ FIFA said.
FIFA’s investigatory chamber then additionally requested that the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee impose provisional sanctions against Bukabakwa in accordance with article 86 paragraph 1 of the FCE.
“On 20 March 2023, following the request of the investigatory chamber, the chairperson of the adjudicatory chamber decided to provisionally suspend Mr Bukabakwa from taking part in any football-related activities (both at national and international level) for a period of five months, pursuant to article 86 of the FCE. The relevant decision was notified to Mr Bukabakwa today, the date on which the suspension comes into force’’.