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A former football coach in DR Congo has been provisionally suspended for five months after a preliminary investigation by Fifa’s ethics committee into allegations of sexual abuse against minors.
Jonathan Bukabakwa was one of a number of coaches in the country under investigation after allegations were made on several media platforms in November last year.
He had been working as a coach at clubs in the regions of Lipopo and Malebo.
Bukabakwa’s suspension covers all football-related activities at national and international level after formal investigation proceedings were opened yesterday by Fifa.
Abuse in African football
This is not the first such case to impact the reputation of African football.
The president of the Gabonese Football Federation, Pierre-Alain Mounguengui, spent six months in preventive custody and was charged with “failure to report crimes of paedophilia”.
Despite the fact he was awaiting trial, Mounguengui went to Qatar and attended the opening match of the 2022 Fifa World Cup – a move denounced by the international football players’ union, Fifpro.
“Photographs of the Confederation of African Football’s president hugging Mounguengui at the World Cup do nothing to persuade victims and whistle-blowers to risk their lives and those of their families to give evidence,” Fifpro said in a statement.
The case of Mounguengui, who denies wrongdoing, followed the arrest of a former Under-17 coach accused of raping and sexually abusing minors in Gabon, allegations which were also denied, with the country’s sports minister suggesting the number of victims could be in “the hundreds”.
In September last year, an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse in the women’s game was also opened by the Zambian FA following various claims on social media.
Cameroon Sports Federation president suspended
Meanwhile, a leading administrator in Cameroonian para sport has also been suspended while an investigation is carried out into allegations of rape made against him.
Herve Guy Ngoyo Ngong, who has issued a denial, is president of the one of several branches of leadership under the control of the Cameroonian Paralympic Committee, which has issued the suspension.
Its president, Jean-Jacques Ndoudoumou, has confirmed to BBC Sport Africa that the suspension will remain in place while police carry out their investigation.
Cameroon has never won a Paralympic medal and has only sent a total of five athletes to the games, beginning in London in 2012.