GENEVA: FIFA suspended the president of the Afghanistan Football Federation Keramuddin Karim for 90 days pending an investigation into allegations of sexual and physical abuse against the Afghan national women´s team.
FIFA´s independent ethics committee said in a statement that the provisional ban “may be extended pending proceedings on the merits of the case.”
Karim is barred from all football-related activities at both the national and international level, the statement said.
Afghanistan´s President Ashraf Ghani has ordered an investigation into claims of abuse by male officials against members of the women´s team, which were first reported in Guardian.
The Guardian cited what it described as senior figures associated with the women´s team who said the abuse had taken place in Afghanistan, including at the AFF headquarters, and at a training camp in Jordan last February.
The story quoted former captain Khalida Popal – who fled the country after receiving death threats and has spoken out previously about the discrimination women face in Afghanistan — as saying male officials were “coercing” female players.
Afghanistan has made strides to promote female football. Four years ago, it launched its first all-women´s football league that ran in parallel with the men´s.
In 2017 the female teams were sidelined by a lack of funding.