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Ex-Afghan football chief faces arrest over sexual abuse

Kabul, June 9 (IANS) Afghan authorities on Sunday ordered arrest of former head of the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) over allegations of sexual abuse of female players, a day after FIFA handed him a lifetime ban from the sport.

Keramuddin Karim has been under investigation for months following allegations of sexual abuse of the women’s national team members, reports Efe news. Karim and his teammates allegedly abused players physically and mentally between 2013 and 2018.

Jamshid Rasouli, a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office, told Efe the Attorney General issued the arrest warrant against Karim after he ignored several subpoenas. The The Interior Ministry has been asked to arrest Karim as soon as possible.

In December 2018, Karim and four other AFF board members were barred from leaving the country amid an investigation into their alleged involvement in the sexual abuse of players.

The arrest warrant was issued a day after FIFA said Karim had breached the code of ethics. “Karim had breached Article 23 (protection of physical and mental integrity) and Article 25 (abuse of position) of the FIFA code of ethics and sanctioned him with a life ban from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level,” FIFA said in a statement.

FIFA also handed Karim 1 million Swiss francs (about $1 million) fine.

Football, along with cricket, is the most played sports in Afghanistan and has gained popularity in the past 17 years since the Taliban government was ousted in 2001-02 by international forces, led by the United States and backed by Afghan groups supporting former President Hamid Karzai.



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