Afghanistan suspends soccer officials amid abuse allegations

December 9, 2018 GMT

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan authorities have suspended the head of the soccer federation and five other senior officials amid allegations of sexual and physical abuse of female athletes.

Jamshed Rasooli, a spokesman for the attorney general, announced the suspensions Sunday, saying the move was intended to allow for a transparent investigation into the accusations publicized by the Guardian late last month.

The British newspaper cited senior figures associated with the team as saying the abuse took place at the federation’s headquarters in Kabul and at a training camp in Jordan last February.

The Guardian also cited Khalida Popal, a former head of women’s soccer in the Afghanistan Football Federation who was forced to flee the country in 2016, as saying that her own investigation uncovered physical and sexual abuse, death threats and rape.