By Andrew Warshaw
March 14 – Two-time FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein has called on world football’s governing body to take far stronger action against Afghan football federation chief Keramuudin Karim over allegations of sexual abuse towards members of the Afghan women’s squad.
Last month a campaign spearheaded by Prince Ali called on FIFA to set up a fully independent body to investigate the claims of abuse and to establish a proper grievance procedure so that victims are not too scared to come forward.
FIFA responded by banning Karim for 90 days and this week extended that for another 90 whilst it investigates the claims of abuse which allegedly happened at federation headquarters in Kabul and a training camp in Prince Ali’s native Jordan.
But Prince Ali, who now runs the Association Football Development Programme (AFDP Global) social enterprise, says FIFA must push the case to the very front of its in-tray.
“This further extension is an added delay and it is vital that the investigation into the allegations against the President is made an absolute priority,” he said in a statement.
“Serious sanctions must be taken against the AFF and all its presiding staff members, until the AFF can demonstrate that safeguarding policies and processes are in place.
“All AFF officials who are implicated in the current crisis should not be permitted to stand for the forthcoming election to the AFC Executive Committee or any other FIFA or AFC committee. These officials should be prevented from standing for election until these systematic failures have been resolved.
“I am also calling for an indefinite extension of the travel ban currently placed on the AFF President and all members of the AFF currently being investigated by the office of the Afghanistan Attorney General. This travel ban should remain in place until the investigations by both FIFA and the Attorney General’s office have been concluded and decisions have been reached.”
Meanwhile AFDP Global has announced the launch of a partnership with the International Center of European Football (ICEF) designed to open up opportunities for young players from West Asia to take advantage of development opportunities offered by ICEF at its headquarters in Evian, France.
“AFDP Global is working in communities in need around the world to improve the lives of children and young people, so working with ICEF … is a natural extension of this work,” said JF Cecillon, AFDP Global’s chief executive.
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