Yves Jean-Bart's life ban has been annulled by CAS ©Getty Images

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has annulled the life ban imposed on former Haitian Football Federation (FHF) President Yves Jean-Bart due to insufficient evidence that he violated FIFA rules.

In November 2020, the FIFA Ethics Committee issued the ban and a fine of CHF 1million (£894,500/$1 million) for breaches of Article 23 and Article 25 of the FIFA Code of Ethics.

The sanctions came after he was accused of sexual harassment and abuse against players, including minors, as well as abuse of his position as President from 2014 to 2020.

An investigation from The Guardian alleged that the 75-year-old had coerced several female athletes to have sexual relations with him.

Human Rights Watch then confirmed the allegations and FIFPro provided the Committee a document listing more than 30 victims.

In January 2021, Jean-Bart filed an appeal to CAS requesting the annulment of the decision, claiming to be innocent.

A CAS panel made up of France's Alain Zahlan de Cayetti, Pierre Müller of Switzerland, and Italian Luigi Fumagalli was constituted to decide the appeal.

A CAS Panel overturned the ban after
A CAS Panel overturned the ban after "inconsistencies" were found in the prosecution ©Getty Images

"In its award, the Panel of Arbitrators unanimously noted inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the statements of the victims and witnesses presented by FIFA," a CAS statement read after the hearing where numerous witnesses were heard.

"In addition, the Panel did not consider the information contained in documents prepared by third parties, such as HRW and FIFPro, to be sufficiently evidentiary, as it was not corroborated or confirmed by other regularly administered evidence which could or would have served as a basis for investigative measures to verify its validity.

"In conclusion, the Panel of Arbitrators considers that the evidence against Yves Jean-Bart regarding the allegations of sexual abuse is inconsistent, unclear and contradictory and that, as a result, it is not sufficient to establish a violation of Articles 23 and 25 of the FIFA Code of Ethics.

"The Panel therefore decides to uphold the appeal and to annul the sanctions set out in the Challenged Decision."

Human Rights Watch has contested that the CAS investigation was corrupted by interference from Jean-Bart, known as Dadou.

It claims that several alleged victims refused to give evidence because they feared for their safety, with one witness supposedly sent a message telling him that his coffin "was prepared".

Human Rights Watch claims the investigation into Yves Jean-Bart was tainted by threats to witnesses ©Getty Images
Human Rights Watch claims the investigation into Yves Jean-Bart was tainted by threats to witnesses ©Getty Images

"FIFA and CAS did not create the conditions where it was safe for whistleblowers and survivors to come forward with evidence of horrific abuses," Worden told The Guardian.

"They were threatened into silence.

"HRW has seen messages from the henchmen of Dadou threatening witnesses that said: 'We have your coffins prepared.'

"So CAS has set up a system where Jean-Bart was able to successfully threaten witnesses or alleged victims to withdraw and not give evidence against him because he threatened to kill them or their families.

"That is not justice and it is an utter failure of the survivors who came forward to give evidence in this case."

Jean-Bart is under investigation in the United States for alleged human trafficking offences and that the public prosecutor in Haiti has not finished its probe.

CAS is scheduled to hear the appeal from the FHF's former head of referees Rosnick Grant today after FIFA's Ethics Committee gave him a life ban for committing acts of sexual harassment and abuse.