Media Release

Fédération Internationale de Football Association

FIFA Strasse 20, P.O Box 8044 Zurich, Switzerland, +41 (0) 43 222 7777

Friday 20 October 2023, 15:30

Adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee suspends former youth coach for 20 years for sexual abuse

The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has banned Mr Jonathan Bukabakwa, former youth coach at clubs of the Urban Football Agreement of the regions of Lipopo and Malebo in Congo DR, from all football-related activities for 20 years, after having found him guilty of sexually abusing a minor football player. In addition, the adjudicatory chamber imposed a fine amounting to CHF 100,000 on Mr Bukabakwa.

This case arose following serious allegations related to the sexual abuse of minors in the Congo DR Football Association (FECOFA) that were made on several media platforms. In particular, various football coaches of different regions and leagues in Congo DR were accused of having abused minor players, leading to Mr Bukabakwa being provisionally suspended for a period of five months earlier this year.

In deciding this case, the adjudicatory chamber took into account the evidence collected during the investigations and was comfortably satisfied that Mr Bukabakwa had breached article 24 (Protection of physical and mental integrity) of the Code of Ethics. The terms of the decision were notified to Mr Bukabakwa today, the date on which the ban comes into force, and will be followed by the notification of the grounds within the next 60 days in accordance with the FIFA Code of Ethics.

The decision taken by the adjudicatory chamber is in line with FIFA’s zero tolerance approach to all forms of abuse in football. World football’s governing body has regularly updated its regulatory framework in recent years to provide greater protection to victims of discrimination and sexual abuse or harassment.

FIFA also provides a confidential, dedicated, highly secure and web-based whistleblowing system so that individuals can report any safeguarding concerns.