July 7 – FIFA President Gianni Infantino has strongly rejected allegations that he has personally not done enough to tackle the sexual abuse scandal pervading Afghan women’s football.
The former president of the AFF, Keramuddin Keram, was banned for life by FIFA last month after its ethics committee found him guilty of abusing his position and sexually abusing female players.
But last week Afghan women’s coach Kelly Lindsey, one of those who blew the lid on sexual abuse by Karim and others, said she was “disgusted” with the way Infantino had handled the affair.
FIFA had already issued a statement that Lindsey’s criticism was “ill-informed” and when asked in a news conference to react personally to her comments, Infantino charged: “I don’t know why this person has criticised. Sexual abuse… It’s something we take very, very seriously.”
“When FIFA was informed about the situation in Afghanistan, we acted immediately. The first thing we did was not to make a PR exercise about how we react. We thought of the interests of these girls and their families and their safety.”
“When I am told that some people criticise FIFA, well, you can criticise FIFA for many things and certainly many times you are right to criticise FIFA but we try to do the best especially in sensitive cases like this…”
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