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Former Gabonese under-17 coach charged with sexual abuse, assault on minors

Gabon's under-17 football coach Patrick Assoumou Eyi facing sexual abuse and assault charges.

 “Patrick Assoumou Eyi has repeatedly sexually assaulted children” Gabon’s former under-17 coach, is facing charges of raping minors and sexual assault. Eyi – known as “Capello” – referring to Italian coach Fabio Capello, will face up to 30 years in prison if found guilty.

The Gabonese coach was arrested on December 21 after allegations from the alleged victims were reported by the prestigious British newspaper The Guardian.

Eyi was arrested on 21 December after accusations by alleged victims were reported by Guardian.

There are other coaches too who face similar charges – Tout Puissant Akwembé’s Orphee Mickala and Triphel Mabicka from Libreville’s Moussavou FC. Also, the taekwondo coach Martin Avera – known as Master Chacka – has been arrested as a suspect of pedophilia and is expected to be tried.

The authorities continue to investigate allegations of widespread abuse in the country.

The Gabonese sports industry has been shaken by such revelations of paedophilia committed by coaches in several domains. There have also been other cases in Taekwondo where coach Martin Avera, aka Master Chaka, has also been arrested on suspicion of paedophilia and is also expected to be charged.

The charges have been tarnishing the image of Gabonese people and has led to an open investigation into all the country’s sports sectors.

Gabon’s president, Ali Bongo, has described the allegations as “a very serious matter”.