Football: coach accused of hundreds of child sexual assaults arrested in Gabon

Accused of alleged sexual assault of hundreds of children, the former Gabonese football coach of the national under-17 team was arrested by the police, a judicial source close to the Minister told AFP on Monday (December 20th). case.

Patrick Assoumou Eyi “was arrested Monday in Ntoum”, about 40 km from the capital Libreville and “he is currently in the hands of the police after the filing of a complaint for an act of pedophilia”, explained the judicial source.

On Friday, Sports Minister Franck Nguema said that Patrick Assoumou Eyi “allegedly abused hundreds of young boys in the course of his duties”. The case came to light on Thursday by the British daily The Guardian.

Well known in Gabonese football circles under the sobriquet of “Capello”, Patrick Assoumou Eyi, whose name was made public by The Guardian, was the coach of the national under-17 team until 2017 and was , since, technical director of the football league of the Estuary, the province of the capital Libreville.

Mr. Assoumou Eyi “was placed in police custody for a period of 48 hours, renewable once for the same period”, specified the judicial source, evoking “criminal facts”.

On Friday, Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba raised a case “very serious and unacceptable” and had given for instruction “to seize the Minister of Justice for the opening of a judicial investigation in the community of national football for sexual abuses having been committed against children, boys and girls”, but also “to extend the survey to all national sports federations” for “eradicate potential sexual predators”.

The Gabonese Football Federation (F├ęgafoot) on Friday suspended Mr. Eyi from his functions on a provisional basis and seized the Ethics Commission of the National Football League to conduct an investigation, assured AFP Pablo Moussodji Ngoma, the media officer of F├ęgafoot.

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