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The shocking documentary on pedophilia in Gabonese soccer

The shocking documentary on pedophilia in Gabonese soccer

In a documentary entitled "Predators on the pitch", BBC reveals numerous testimonies on the vast pedophilia scandal that has shaken the world of soccer in Gabon for several months.Whistle-blowers, victims and local soccer players all testify.

The BBC documentary features numerous testimonies.

"In Gabon, soccer and paedophilia go hand in hand". With these words, Parfait Ndong, a former Gabonese international defender, sets the scene to describe the situation that many minors are experiencing or have experienced. In a BBC documentary on the subject of sexual abuse in soccer, the now trainer recalls the testimonies of numerous victims who have confessed to him. He was the first in the country to sound the alarm about the abuse suffered by many under-age players at the hands of their coaches. This was the start of a vast investigation by journalist Romain Molina, Sport News Africa and the BBC, which led to FIFA opening an inquiry.

According to the documentary, this pedophilia scandal in Gabonese soccer involves hundreds, if not thousands, of young minors who have been sexually abused for decades. Acts perpetrated by their coaches, high-ranking members of the Gabonese soccer community. All in total impunity, at least until the first testimonies uncovered a veritable paedophile network. This network came to light with the revelations that led to the arrest of Patrick Assoumou Eyi, nicknamed "Capello", followed by several other local coaches.

The testimonies of the victims are numerous."We were in a training camp for under-17s, staying in a dormitory with bunk beds. They would come into our rooms in the middle of the night, and... (he bursts into tears) sorry, it's hard to talk about.I saw other boys being taken away. They had no choice (...) During training sessions, these boys were bleeding. In the toilets and showers, we could see the blood dripping from their buttocks. They couldn't play in the next match, they couldn't run anymore," says one of them.

The authorities singled out for inaction

"They came and woke me and my best friend up.They took us to a red-lit room full of naked men.They started touching us. I didn't understand. I wanted to scream. They told me I had to masturbate and give them oral sex. I refused. Then they threatened me, telling me that if I didn't do it, I'd lose my place on the team," he continues. Each of these stories is as difficult to hear as the next, and testifies to the shock suffered by the victims.

While FIFA's investigation, which was initially denounced for its partiality, was taken over by a new team in order to shed light on the affair, the President of the Gabonese Football Federation, Pierre-Alain Mouguengui, was arrested for failing to denounce the facts of which he had been informed. He has since been released, and even received the support of the Confederation of African Football during his incarceration. The British media also points the finger at the way in which football's governing bodies are handling this case and seem to be protecting their members, systematically invoking the principle of presumption of innocence despite the numerous testimonies.

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