FIFA & AFC Must Hold Afghanistan Football Federation Accountable for Abuse of Players
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"Football helps women unite and create a voice for the voiceless. We are making history by standing together and raising our voices against abuse and misuse of power of football." - Khalida Popal, former Captain of Afghanistan Women's National, and Founder of Girl Power.
The Afghanistan Women's National Football Team has been working and training diligently despite social, financial and even logistical challenges. They have been targeted with sexism and misogyny on a regular basis. In November 2018, The Guardian first reported cases of abuse committed by the President of the Afghanistan Football Federation: Keramuddin Karim. The details of the allegations are horrific. As a result, hummel (original team sponsor) has cut ties with the Afghanistan Football Federation. The team is appreciative of solidarity shown by players, teams and individuals around the world. But FIFA and AFC MUST act. The challenges faces by the players, coaches and team manager have been documented and they have been transparent with media. They have been incredibly brave in the face of these traumas. Currently, Karim and four of his colleagues have been put on the no-flying list and banned from travel by the Attorney General (Farid Hamidi)'s office, following the accusations of abuse.
Yet, FIFA and AFC have not dealt with this matter properly or with the rigor is deserves. FIFA and AFC, the most prominent and major federations responsible for advocacy and for supporting players on a global level, must ensure that the AFF is properly investigated, that financial support to the AFF continues so that the players and the sincere staff do not get penalized for the egregious errors of a powerful few, and that public support for the players and the team stays consistent. The accused must have their connections severed by FIFA and AFC and must not be allowed to coach, manage or administrate until this matter is justly resolved. Sexualized violence, threats, and physical abuse of players is not acceptable. FIFA and AFC must ensure that they support the survivors of this violence who are simple wish to play football. Thus far, the lack of reaction has been frustrating. As Shabnam Mobarez, Captain of the Afghanistan Women's National team has stated: "We need a fundamental change in the system!"
Please support this petition and urge FIFA and the AFC to ACT NOW.
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