President of Gabon football league Serge Mombo has been accused of sexually abusing young footballers in exchange for places in the national team.
Leading Gabonese official Mombo was re-elected as the president of Gabon’s senior football league in June 2021
With the Africa Cup of Nations set to begin on January 9, Mombo will be the kit man for his nation but his call-up may be in jeopardy.
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A harrowing report from The Guardian has claimed Mombo demanded sex as a condition for securing places in the national team and helped sexually abuse young players.
Mombo, who is a senior figure in the Gabonese football federation Fegafoot, has denied all the accusations made against him, including a claim that he aided leading Gabonese football coach Patrick Assoumou Eyi, known as 'Capello', in raping minors.
The outlet adds that Eyi will also be heading to court to defend himself, while two other coaches in Gabon are also facing charges.
One alleged victim claims to have been abused by Mombo and Capello in 2014 at the Heliconia hotel in Libreville, the capital of Gabon, explained how the events seemingly occurred.
"He was there, choosing some boys. We didn’t really understand why he was so powerful," the alleged victim said, per The Guardian
"Some players had to call him coach but he was a kit man. It was very weird. He did his dirty game with Capello.
"The same night, Mombo came to my room and told me to go to Capello’s bedroom. He didn’t say more and didn’t give me the choice. It was almost 10 at night.
"Capello waited for me without a T-shirt. He told me that I was talented but in order to support the pressure, I would need ‘la présence d’esprit’ [presence of mind].
"Capello and Mombo worked together on this.
"Mombo came with us on the away trips, in the same plane. He came to see us, told us he could help us.
"I remember after a game at home that he told me: 'If you want to play, you’ll need to give me what I want. I can make your career, even with the senior national team.'"
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