15th July 2020
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the appeal arbitration procedure between Keramuddin Karim, former President of the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF), and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).
The CAS Panel dismissed the appeal and confirmed the decision taken by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee on 8 June 2019 in which Keramuddin Karim was found to have breached article 23 (Protection of physical and mental integrity) and article 25 (Abuse of position) of the FIFA Code of Ethics and sanctioned him with a life ban from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level, and ordered to pay a fine in the amount of CHF 1 million.
The FIFA Ethics Committee investigation into Keramuddin Karim concerned complaints lodged by female Afghan football players accusing him of sexual abuse in the period 2013 – 2018. During the CAS hearing, several players of the AFF women’s national team stated that they had been sexually and physically abused by Keramuddin Karim. The players testified from a secured place, by telephone, using a voice scrambler to protect their identity.
The Panel in charge of this matter underlined that, unlike bribery and match-fixing which damage the integrity of the sport, the offenses committed by Keramuddin Karim violated basic human rights and damaged the mental and physical dignity and integrity of young female players. With his appalling acts, he had destroyed not only their careers, but severely damaged their lives. The Panel determined that Keramuddin Karim should get the most severe sanction possible available under the FIFA Code of Ethics, i.e. a life ban and a fine of CHF 1 million.