World soccer ruling body FIFA Saturday handed former President of Afghan Football Federation (AFF) Keramuudin Karim life ban after an investigation into allegations of physical and sexual abuse of women players.
FIFA, found that Karim had abused his position as association head and ruled that he can no longer pursue a career at a national or an international level.
He was also fined a million Swiss francs ($1 million, €882,000) by the Zurich-based body.
FIFA’s Ethics Committee heard that at least five female Afghan footballers made allegations of abuse against him between 2013 and 2018.
The AFF which is yet to react following the ban had initially rejected the allegations describing it as groundless”
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered an investigation into his conduct after Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported last year that senior figures linked to the Afghan women’s team had alleged that officials from the federation had molested some players.
According to the Guardian, the alleged abuse took place inside the federation’s headquarters as well as at a training camp in Jordan last February.
FIFA, which began its investigation in December when it suspended Keram, said he had breached ethics code rules on the protection of physical and mental integrity and abuse of position.
The national women’s team was formed in 2010 despite opposition from some conservative-minded Afghans. Its creation led to the launch of a women’s football league five years later.
The allegations, however, left the national women’s team in tatters, prompting several players to give up training, which in turn led to the team losing sponsorship deals from Danish sports brand Hummel and the Dubai-based Alokozay group.
Many parents, alarmed by public treatment of female players, urged their daughters to give up the sport.