Hummel cuts ties with Afghanistan Soccer Federation over ‘abuse’ allegations


Danish sportwear model Hummel additionally referred to as for the fast resignation of the president of the group, Keramuddin Karim.

In a press release issued to CNN, the corporate mentioned it “was offered with robust allegations of extreme psychological, bodily, sexual and equal rights abuse of the feminine gamers by male AFF officers.”

The sportswear model demanded the resignation of Karim, saying in its assertion it had “clear documentation of breach of contract in addition to the truth that AFF management has been conscious of the allegations since February this 12 months with out taking actions or informing sponsors.”

CNN has been unable to achieve Karim for remark.

The AFF mentioned it “vigorously rejects” the allegations and mentioned it had a “zero tolerance strategy” to abuse. It mentioned the allegations had been being pushed by “former workers.”

Hummel’s CEO Allan Vad Nielsen mentioned within the assertion that it had concluded the allegations had been critical sufficient to chop its ties. “The documentation offered to us just isn’t solely a sign of gross misconduct and abuse of energy by the AFF officers, it’s in direct distinction to our values.”

Death threats and football: How Khalida Popal escaped the Taliban

“We’ve no different selection however to cancel the sponsorship. Hummel won’t assist a company the place the security and rights of the gamers is not the primary precedence,” Vad Nielsen mentioned.

Khalida Popal, a former Afghan participant and presently this system organizer for the ladies’s nationwide group, informed CNN the abuse passed off throughout a seven-day coaching camp in Jordan on the finish of January this 12 months.

Popal, who was compelled to flee Afghanistan and now lives in Denmark, was current on the Jordan coaching camp. She says that a minimum of 5 gamers had been abused of their rooms by two male officers, who had been despatched by the AFF to accompany the gamers..

The gamers will not be but keen to talk to the media publicly, fearing for his or her security and that of their households, she mentioned.

Popal mentioned the 2 males notably focused members of the group who had come from Afghanistan, reasonably than those that lived overseas.

The officers would invite the gamers to their rooms, and after they declined, the officers went to the ladies’s lodging, she mentioned.

When Popal confronted the officers about why they had been within the gamers’ rooms so late, the lads mentioned they had been simply “taking part in video games,” she mentioned.

Among the ladies, Popal mentioned, got here to her in tears, whereas one other had a bruise on her neck.

The abuse continued at coaching, Popal mentioned. She mentioned she heard one of many males say to the opposite, “what an excellent ass,” as he checked out one of many gamers.

“I, because the chief of this system, tried many occasions to deal with these points,” Popal informed CNN. “My argument with the soccer affiliation was to not contain males, we do not need males to be concerned in our program.”

“Households had been trusting us with their daughters.”

In its assertion, the AFF mentioned it was “conscious of the troublesome surroundings for girls’s sport in Afghanistan,” and did its greatest to assist feminine athletes.

“The AFF is upset that these very critical allegations appear to return from former workers, with out ever having instantly contacted the AFF and/or supplied any particular data to assist the AFF to analyze these allegations. As such, the AFF can solely reiterate that these allegations are fully groundless.”

“Ought to the AFF obtain particular factual data and/proof, it won’t hesitate to provoke additional investigations instantly and to take all acceptable steps to forestall such actions and prosecute these chargeable for them.”

Compounding the image is a brand new contract issued by the AFF. The Afghan gamers revealed on social media final week that they’d been requested to signal a “draconian” settlement which might strip the feminine gamers of plenty of rights.

The contract sought to forestall them from speaking to the press, deny them from being paid for performing nationwide group duties, cease them from incomes cash by way of sponsorships and deny them mediation in disciplinary hearings.

Popal and Haley Carter, the assistant coach of the Afghan ladies’s group, say the contract was an try and silence the gamers.

“If it got here out, it might actually harm the (Afghan soccer) program,” Popal informed CNN. “They wished to return out with this contract to silence our gamers in so some ways.”

Carter, a former American skilled footballer, referred to as the contract “draconian in nature.”

“It was an outrageous contract,” Carter informed CNN. “After I learn it my mouth simply dropped to the ground, I am fully uncomfortable asking any individual to signal that.”

A spokesperson for FIFA, world soccer’s governing physique, mentioned the group “is wanting into” the contractual dispute. CNN has requested Fifa to remark concerning the abuse claims.

Shabnam Mobarez, the ladies’s group captain, who was dropped after refusing to signal the contract, informed CNN: “This contract is simply controlling me and making an attempt to place me in a field, so I am unable to transfer as a participant and as a human.”

“The phrases within the contract are limiting me from so many alternatives I can have as a participant.

“It is one thing that needs to be cleaned out from the entire system, so we’re simply being a voice for individuals who do not have a voice.”

Popal says she was promised by Karim that the 2 officers can be punished. However after they returned to Afghanistan from Jordan, she discovered they’d each acquired promotions.

“That is the best way you get our justice?” Popal informed CNN. “By giving a promotion to the abuser.”

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