Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
December 16, 2018
Afghanistan’s attorney general has called on soccer’s world governing body, FIFA, to share evidence it has collected over allegations of sexual and physical abuse against the women’s national team.
Jamshid Rasuli, the attorney general’s spokesman, told reporters in Kabul that the December 16 request was part of an ongoing investigation into claims of abuse by male officials against female players in Afghanistan.
On December 12, FIFA suspended Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) President Keramuddin Karim for 90 days over the abuse allegations.
The move came days after the Attorney General’s Office said it had suspended Karim and four other Afghan officials to facilitate an investigation into the case.
Allegations were first reported in November by Britain’s The Guardian newspaper.
That newspaper cited what it described as senior officials associated with the women’s team, who said the abuse had taken place in Afghanistan — including at AFF headquarters — and at a training camp in Jordan in February.
Former captain Khalida Popal was quoted as saying male officials were “coercing” female players.
Popal fled Afghanistan after receiving death threats and has spoken out previously about the discrimination women face in Afghanistan.
Rasuli said Afghan authorities have contacted Popal to provide evidence for her allegations.
“We also ask all the women support organizations, media, and activists to share their information with us about women’s abuse in the football federation so that a proper decision is made about the case,” Rasuli said.
Earlier in December, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered the attorney general to conduct a “thorough investigation” into what he called “shocking” claims of abuse by male officials against members of the women’s team.
Based on reporting by AFP, The Guardian, and RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.
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