FIFA on Saturday found the former head of the Afghanistan Football Federation, Keramuddin Karim, guilty of sexually abusing female players and banned him from the sport for life.
Karim had been provisionally banned by FIFA’s ethics committee following allegations made by five female Afghan players concerning acts of sexual assault committed between 2013 and 2018.
The investigation by world football’s governing body found Karim “guilty of having abused his position and sexually abused various female players, in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.”
Afghan footballer Khalida Popal — who reportedly had collected accounts from former teammates that included sexual violence, death threats and rapes — applauded FIFA’s decision but said it was only a “first step.”
“We are not done yet,” she said on Twitter.
“Football is not a place for abuse… Women should be protected,” she added.
Karim has previously denied the accusations, denouncing them as part of a “conspiracy” and “without evidence.”
Effective immediately, Karim is banned from all football-related activity at both the national and international level.
FIFA also fined him 1 million Swiss francs ($1 million, 893,000 euros).
Karim can appeal the FIFA decision, including at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.