The United States has hailed FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, for slapping a five-year ban on a former senior official of the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) for failing to act on sexual abuse allegations brought by the country’s female players.
“Survivors of sexual abuse deserve justice & we look to Afghan authorities to ensure accused officials are held accountable,” Alice Wells, acting U.S. assistant secretary for south and central Asia, tweeted Saturday.
World football’s governing body said Sayed Aghazada, the former general secretary of the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF), “was aware of this abuse and had the duty to report and prevent it.”
Aghazada was the AFF general secretary during the tenure of former president Keramuudin Karim, who earlier this year was given a lifetime ban by FIFA following allegations he sexually abused female players on the Afghanistan national team.
Karim was “guilty of having abused his position and sexually abused various female players,” according to FIFA. It also fined him 1 million Swiss francs ($1 million).
Aghazada is an executive committee member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) — the region’s governing body — having only been elected to a four-year term in April.