Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) on Saturday rejected the reports in which said that the Afghan women’s soccer team players being exposed to sexual abuse, physical abuse, death threats, and even rape cases.
Citing multiple figures associated with Afghanistan women’s football team, The Guardian has reported that the abuse took place inside the country, including at the federation’s headquarters, and at a training camp in Jordan last February.
Khalida Popal, a former head of the women’s football department at the AFF, who was forced to flee the country in 2016 and seek asylum in Denmark, has spoken to the Guardian, together with the players Shabnam Mobarez and Mina Ahmadi and the head coach, Kelly Lindsey, about the ordeal of players within the country and their frustrations with a system that, they feel, has failed to protect them.
The AFF said in a statement that it “vigorously rejects the false accusations made with regard to the AFF’s women’s national team”, adding that has a “zero-tolerance policy towards any such type of behaviour”.
“The AFF is disappointed that these very serious allegations seem to come from former employees, without ever having directly contacted the AFF and/or provided any specific information to help the AFF to investigate these allegations,” the statement noted.
This comes as FIFA – the world governing body for soccer – reportedly confirmed it was investigating the allegations that male officials from the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) sexually and physically abused players on the women’s national team.