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Coach: FIFA Not Moving Fast Enough In Afghan Sex Abuse Scandal

Afghan football boss during an interview with AFP in Kabul on December 31, 2018
Afghan football boss during an interview with AFP in Kabul on December 31, 2018

Afghanistan’s national soccer team coach Kelly Lindsey said soccer governing body FIFA is moving slowly and needs to broaden the scope of its investigation into sexual abuse involving Afghan women players.

Lindsey and the team’s program director wrote a letter dated August 6 to FIFA chief Gianni Infantino that referenced the former president of Afghanistan’s soccer federation, Keramuddin Karim, whom FIFA banned from soccer for life after finding him guilty of abusing his position and sexually abusing female players.

At least five Afghan players accused him of repeated sexual abuse in 2013-2018.

However, the letter stated that several other individuals whom the players named as being directly or indirectly linked to the case have not been disciplined or fined.

As victims who didn’t remain silent, the players live with fear, Lindsey’s co-written letter said.

"The accounts mention numerous other individuals, including senior individuals in ongoing positions of power, who committed sexual and physical abuse and/or failed to report abuse even though they knew or ought to have known of the abuse and/or sought to cover up abuse,” the letter said.

FIFA’s “inaction” has allowed a “culture of abuse to continue to thrive” at Afghanistan’s soccer federation.

FIFA said it is “carefully looking into allegation that have been made against additional persons,” in a statement.

The soccer governing body said it will “not hesitate impose sanctions if and when justified."

FIFA began its investigation in December when it suspended Karim.

Based on reporting by Reuters
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