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Former Afghan soccer federation president's life ban upheld

Former Afghan soccer federation president's life ban upheld

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The former president of the Afghan soccer federation lost his appeal Tuesday against a life ban for sexually abusing women’s national team players.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the ban and said Keramuddin Karim committed “appalling acts” against players who accused him of sexual and physical abuse over a five-year period from 2013.

Special security measures were taken to protect the players while they testified.

“The players testified from a secured place, by telephone, using a voice scrambler to protect their identity,” the court said.

CAS dismissed Karim's appeal against the FIFA ban and fine of 1 million Swiss francs ($1.06 million). That is the maximum fine allowed by FIFA rules.

“The offenses committed by Keramuddin Karim violated basic human rights and damaged the mental and physical dignity and integrity of young female players,” CAS said in a statement. “With his appalling acts, he had destroyed not only their careers, but severely damaged their lives.”

The FIFA ethics committee banned Karim in June 2019 during the Women’s World Cup in France after an investigation into allegations by women and girls in national team squads.

The allegations were first published in media reports the previous year.

In 2014, Karim traveled to Switzerland to collect the FIFA Fair Play Award on behalf of the Afghan soccer federation at the soccer body's annual awards ceremony.

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Updated : 2021-01-19 14:28 GMT+08:00