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President of Gabon league accused of sexually abusing young footballers | Soccer

Serge Mombo, a number one soccer official in Gabon, has been accused of sexually abusing young gamers and demanding intercourse as a situation of them securing locations in nationwide groups.

Mombo was re-elected as president of La Ligue de l’Estuaire, Gabon’s senior soccer league, in June 2021. He’s additionally set to function the package man for Gabon’s senior males’s staff on the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon, which begins on Sunday. Mombo, a former policeman, denied the abuse claims, made by alleged victims and witnesses to the Guardian.

He additionally denied claims he offered a Gabonese soccer coach, Patrick Assoumou Eyi, generally known as “Capello”, with boys to sexually abuse. Eyi, like Mombo a senior determine within the Gabonese soccer federation Fegafoot, is dealing with prices of raping minors and sexual assault after claims by alleged victims had been reported by the Guardian. Two different coaches in Gabon are additionally dealing with prices.

Mombo stated his accusers had been “mendacity to attempt to soiled my picture.”

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One alleged sufferer stated he was abused by Mombo and Capello in 2014 on the Heliconia lodge in Libreville, the capital of Gabon, throughout a coaching camp. “He was there, selecting some boys. We didn’t actually perceive why he was so {powerful}. Some gamers needed to name him coach however he was a package man. It was very bizarre. He did his soiled recreation with Capello.”

The alleged sufferer stated Mombo would give the primary three items of watermelon to a few boys they might then invite to a room to be abused. “The identical night time, Mombo got here to my room and instructed me to go to Capello’s bed room. He didn’t say extra and didn’t give me the selection. It was virtually 10 at night time. Capello waited for me and not using a T-shirt. He instructed me that I used to be gifted however with a view to assist the strain, I would wish ‘la présence d’esprit’ [presence of mind].”

He added: “Capello and Mombo labored collectively on this. Mombo got here with us on the away journeys, in the identical airplane. He got here to see us, instructed he might assist us. I keep in mind after a recreation at residence that he instructed me: ‘If you wish to play, you’ll want to provide me what I need. I could make your profession, even with the senior nationwide staff.’

“I got here from a poor household, I used to be fascinated by it. I’m shameful nevertheless it was my solely manner to assist my household, you realize, so I accepted his first provide. I used to be chosen the subsequent time however I felt so dangerous. Bodily, emotionally, they ruined me. Once I refused to go additional I wasn’t chosen any extra with the nationwide staff.”

One other former participant who claimed he was abused by each Eyi and Mombo when he represented Gabon’s Beneath-17s in 2017 stated the official tried to proposition him with guarantees of a spot within the beginning lineup.

Patrick Assoumou Eyi
Allegations have additionally been made in opposition to Patrick Assoumou Eyi. {Photograph}: Handout

“Within the nationwide staff, Serge Mombo was a predator,” he stated. “He provided us sexual propositions in trade for a spot within the staff sooner or later. They picked us, they gave us some benefits: cash, presents and likewise the privilege to play for our nation.

“While you begin to prefer it, to dream, they requested for intercourse. Principally, he instructed me: ‘If you wish to stick with us, you’ll want to provide me one thing.’ I requested what and he answered: ‘Your arse.’ He even provided me cash if I wished … I’m a sufferer of each.”

Each of these alleged victims have stated Mombo was additionally working as a package man for all of Gabon’s nationwide youth groups. That is denied by Mombo.

Mombo denied the claims of sexual abuse and stated that he had “by no means labored with this Capello in a nationwide staff. I met him as a DTP [provincial technical director] once I was elected to the league”. “By no means and by no means,” he added. “ In fact they’re mendacity to attempt to soiled my picture.”

The previous Gabon worldwide Brice Makaya served as assistant to Eyi with the Beneath-17s in 2014 and instructed the Guardian that Mombo usually travelled with the squad and the Fegafoot president, Pierre-Alain Mounguengui, to tournaments.

“Mombo was the omnipotent package man of the Gabonese soccer federation’s package males. He managed the kits for managers of all age-groups of the nationwide picks. Within the under-17s once we had journeys he was travelling with Mounguengui and appearing because the regulation, and generally he was the choice maker.”

Makaya has claimed that on a visit to Ethiopia, he knowledgeable Mounguengui of his suspicions that Eyi had been abusing gamers however was instructed “you don’t have proof”. “When he instructed me to settle down and there’s nothing he’ll do, I understood that it’s a system,” he stated.

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Mounguengui didn’t reply to requests from remark from the Guardian.

One other alleged witness has claimed they heard Mombo asking a young boy to carry out a intercourse act on him if he wished to be chosen for the nationwide staff. “Mombo was on the telephone and I used to be 10 metres away,” he stated.

The alleged witness has additionally claimed that Mombo confiscated the passports of gamers from Gabon’s Beneath-20 girls’s staff after they reported accusations of rape, abuse and sexual harassment. “He threatened them in the event that they wished to speak about sexual abuse,’ he added.

Mombo didn’t reply on to a query about whether or not he had confiscated gamers’ passports. However he added: “I promise you that if I’ve data on the varied predators which have killed the lives and careers of some, I’ll talk it to you; collectively we should save our soccer. Particularly young individuals. I’m additionally doing investigations at my stage. If I’ve information, I’ll share it with you a while.”

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