Afghan Women’s Soccer Team Accuses Officials of Sexual Abuse


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The Afghan government is investigating allegations that players on the women’s national soccer team were sexually and physically abused by male coaches and officials, including the head of the Afghan soccer federation, officials said on Tuesday.

President Ashraf Ghani said in a closed-door speech to the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee on Monday that he had ordered the investigation into the Afghanistan Football Federation in response to a report in The Guardian last week whose revelations he called “shocking to all Afghans.”

FIFA, the world body regulating international soccer, is conducting its own investigation.

The scandal has prompted the team’s principal sponsor, the Danish sportswear company Hummel, to withdraw its support. “The documentation presented to us is not only an indication of gross misconduct and abuse of power by the A.F.F. officials, it is in direct contrast to our values,” the company’s chief executive, Allan Vad Nielsen, said in a statement. “We have no other choice but to cancel the sponsorship.”

The accusations focus on Keramuddin Keram, the president of the Afghanistan Football Federation, which governs both men’s and women’s soccer, as well as other male officials from the federation.

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