In reaction to allegations over sexual and physical abuse of some members of Afghanistan National Women’s Football Team, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) on Saturday said they will run a thorough investigation into the claims.
A number of former members of the women’s football team has have claimed that some officials from the technical cadre of Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) have abused the members of the team sexually and physically.
The AGO spokesman Jamshid Rasuli told TOLOnews that the department has formed a committee to thoroughly probe the allegations against officials of the football federation.
“The deputy head of the Attorney General’s Office on crimes of violence against women, chairperson of crimes of violence against women and head of crimes department of Ministry of Interior have been appointed to document the issue and investigate it if the incident has happened,” said Rasuli.
After the allegations made over sexual and physical assault on women players at AFF, Khalida Popal, a former player at the Afghanistan National Women’s Football Team who lives outside the country accused the leadership of the AFF over sexual and physical abuse of female players.
Popal said the sexual and physical abuse took place at the Afghanistan Football Federation headquarters and at a training camp in Jordan in 2016.
“The challenge that our players were always facing with, was sexual harassment from officials, coaches and people who were coming at our exercises camps as representatives of AFF,” Popal told TOLOnews in a skype call on Saturday.
“All of them (members of women’s football team) should respect girls as their sisters and mothers. They (members of women’s football team) should be supported. But it is a ‘shame’ when they (AFF officials) are doing this,” Raeesa Sadat, deputy head of modern pentathlon federation, told TOLOnews.
“This affects the morale of women athletes,” said Adila Azad, a woman athlete in Kabul.
Meanwhile, The Guardian, quoting Popal, has written that the AFF director Keramuddin Karim, has a bedroom at his office which its door uses fingerprint recognition system. Popal said when the players go in the room, they cannot get out unless Karim opens the door.
“Not only that, he has a room inside his office that is a bedroom with a bed. The doors of his office [use] fingerprint recognition, so when players go in they can’t get out without the fingerprint of the president,” Popal said as quoted by The Guardian in a report on Friday.
Despite repeated calls, TOLOnews could not get comments from Mr. Karim in this regard.
One member of the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of Parliament, said the relevant departments should firmly investigate the case.
“Those who have done such acts, must be brought to justice,” said Lailuma Hakimi, an MP.
Afghanistan Football Federation meanwhile rejected the allegations as a conspiracy against the authority.
“Afghanistan Football Federation appointed Khalida Popal as the manager of women’s football at least two and half years ago. Why Afghanistan Football Federation is blamed for being evil after they are fired?” asked Sayed Ali Reza Aqazada, Secretary General of AFF, who addressed a press conference in Kabul on Saturday.
“We have around 200 beds. Where should we take the players who come from the (Afghanistan) premier league to sleep? They cannot spend their nights on the road. The football federation has a dormitory, it has an office,” Aqazada said in reaction to the allegations on a fingerprint-controlled door at the AFF president’s office.
FIFA meanwhile has said the organization has started investigation about the allegations made against AFF officials.