FIFA announced a 20-year suspension for Mr. Jonathan Bukabakwa, a former youth coach, on Friday, following accusations of sexual assault against a minor. This decision was issued by the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s Independent Ethics Committee, marking a significant milestone in the fight against sexual abuse in football.

Mr. Bukabakwa, who had previously been temporarily suspended for a five-month period, was found guilty of serious violations of Article 24 of the FIFA Code of Ethics, which pertains to the protection of the physical and mental integrity of individuals. In addition to the suspension, he was fined CHF 100,000 (approximately USD 110,000).

This disturbing incident is the latest in a series of sexual assault allegations that have shaken the Congolese Football Association (FECOFA) and Congolese football in general. Several coaches from different regions of the DR Congo have faced accusations of sexually abusing minors, leading to investigations and sanctions.

“This decision by the adjudicatory chamber aligns with FIFA’s zero-tolerance policy against all forms of violence in football. In recent years, the global football governing body has consistently updated its regulatory framework to ensure better protection for victims of discrimination, sexual violence, or harassment,” emphasized FIFA.

The organization also promotes the reporting of abuses through a “specific and secure” online reporting system. This system allows individuals to confidentially report issues related to prevention, thereby strengthening efforts to protect players and members of the football community.