FIFA Ethics and Regulations Watch (FERW) strongly believes that FIFA should take stronger action against Afghanistan’s football officials over sexual assault on members of the country’s women’s team.

The scandal occurred last December when the Guardian reported that a member of the Afghanistan women’s team, Khalida Popal, had presented shocking evidence of sexual harassment of her former teammates. The accounts included sexual violence, death threats, and rapes.

Last week, FIFA extended the suspension of Afghan Football Federation (AFF) president Keramuddin Karim by 90 days to investigate the case further, at the recommendation of its ethics commission.

Former FIFA presidential candidate, Prince Ali bin Al Hussein called on FIFA to take “serious sanctions against the AFF and all its presiding staff members until the AFF can demonstrate that safeguarding policies and processes are in place.”

According to the Jordanian prince, “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.”

Prince Ali also recommended establishing new policies for Afghan players and referees, setting out “what is appropriate and inappropriate conduct”.

In light of this news, FERW calls on FIFA to immediately take the measures against the AFF suggested by Prince Ali bin Al Hussein and investigate similar cases worldwide.

Furthermore, FERW also calls on all football clubs and associations officials to abide by FIFA regulations and act in accordance with the FIFA Code of Ethics to prevent sexual harassment and protect women in sports.

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