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Gabon football federation president in police custody

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The president of Gabon’s football federation (Fegafoot) was placed in police custody in Libreville on Thursday as part of an investigation into his failure to report cases of alleged sexual assaults on hundreds of children, a senior Fegafoot official told AFP on Friday.

“Pierre-Alain Mounguengui is accused of covering up alleged assaults committed by Patrick Assoumou Eyi,” said Romain Molina, a French journalist who made the revelations in late December about the paedophilia scandal in Gabonese sport.

Patrick Assoumou Eyi, who is well known in Gabonese football circles under the nickname “Capello”, was the coach of the national under-17 team until 2017 and has since been technical director of the Estuaire football league, the province of the capital Libreville.

Patrick Assoumou Eyi was arrested by Gabonese police at the end of December after a complaint was lodged for “paedophilia”.

The Minister of Sports, Franck Nguema, said in December that Patrick Assoumou Eyi “abused hundreds of young boys in the course of his duties”.

The Gabonese president, Ali Bongo Ondimba, spoke of a “very serious and unacceptable” affair and instructed, “the Minister of Justice to open a judicial enquiry into the national football community for sexual abuse committed against children, boys and girls”.