Friday, 18 October 2019

FIFA bans Afghan football chief pending sex abuse probe

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.

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