FIFA bans Afghan football chief pending sex abuse probe

AFP Geneva, Switzerland Dec 13, 2018, 12.03 PM(IST)

FIFA's headquarters in Zurich. Photograph:( Reuters )

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FIFA's independent ethics committee said in a statement that the provisional ban "may be extended pending proceedings on the merits of the case." 

FIFA on Wednesday 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 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 Britain's Guardian newspaper.

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.