Sexual Abuse in Guinean Football: A Former Player Speaks Out

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sexual abuse

A month has passed, and the findings from the investigation into sexual abuse at the Guinean Football Federation (Féguifoot) training center remain undisclosed. On June 24th, 2024, Radio France Internationale (RFI) revealed the harrowing testimony of a former player who describes a pedo-criminal system entrenched within Féguifoot.

The aftermath of the sexual abuse scandal continues to weigh heavily on Guinea’s football federation. Victims, many of whom were minors, were participants in the “Champions” program, a joint initiative funded by the French Development Agency aimed at empowering young girls through sports.

Anonymous testimonies have been collected for safety reasons. These testimonies reveal that the Nongo training center in Conakry, which housed beneficiaries of the “Championnes” program, fostered a systematic abuse environment. If confirmed by ongoing investigations, this could constitute a case of pedo-criminality.

“Awa” (name changed for anonymity) recounts how the center primarily selected minors from impoverished backgrounds, who were easier to exploit. “Sometimes the players would cry,” Awa says. “When you ask why they are sad, they tell you a bit: ‘I have to do this for my parents who are struggling. I have to accept it.'”

Reports indicate that selection criteria favored physical appearance over sporting talent. In April, journalist Romain Molina’s exposé led to the suspension of three staff members, including coach Mariama Diallo, whom Awa describes as a master manipulator.

While head coach Sékouba Camara, his replacement Mariama Diallo, and another staff member were suspended following these revelations, witnesses assert that these suspensions only scratch the surface. According to Awa, Sékouba Camara was “the worst of all.”

Awa insists that these three individuals were merely scapegoats. She highlights cases of a player who became pregnant and another minor who was assaulted by multiple staff members, with the incident being recorded and shared among them.

Another player characterizes these actions as sexual and psychological harassment, stressing their severity despite choosing not to term them as sexual violence. The harassment was constant, exploiting the girls’ vulnerability due to their precarious conditions.

In Guinea, reports of sexual violence against both children and the elderly appear in the media almost weekly. This case at Féguifoot underscores a broader, systemic issue within the society that urgently needs addressing.


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