Lawyer for Afghan football ex-chief hits out at charges
KABUL: A lawyer for the disgraced former head of the Afghan Football Federation hit back Wednesday against sexual abuse allegations targeting his client, saying they were based on “ghost stories” fuelled by the #MeToo movement.
Keramuddin Karim has been accused of sexually assaulting and threatening female players, including by holding a gun to one’s head, in allegations first reported by Britain’s Guardian newspaper last November.
The allegations, which Karim has denied, led to an investigation by FIFA, which last month found Karim guilty of having abused his position and having sexually abused various female players. FIFA banned him from all football-related activity for life and fined him 1 million Swiss francs (around US$1 million).
On Wednesday, Ivo Sigmond, a Dutch lawyer representing Karim, said he had met with several female players in Kabul and reviewed evidence against his client. “My conclusion up to now, every time we look into (an) allegation… if you push against the facts, a totally different story shows up,” Sigmond said at a press conference in Kabul. “We are talking about ghost stories, anonymous people making allegations.”