AMMAN: Commenting on the extended provisional suspension of the Afghanistan Football Federation President, HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein said:

“The provisional sanction banning the President of the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) from all football-related activities, which was put in place on 12 December 2018, has been extended for a further 90 days.

“I called for urgent action to be taken in November 2018 and again in February 2019. This further extension is an added delay and it is vital that the investigation into the allegations against the President is made an absolute priority.

“Serious sanctions must be taken against the AFF and all its presiding staff members, until the AFF can demonstrate that safeguarding policies and processes are in place.

“All AFF officials who are implicated in the current crisis should not be permitted to stand for the forthcoming election to the AFC Executive Committee or any other FIFA or AFC committee. These officials should be prevented from standing for election until these systematic failures have been resolved.

“I am also calling for an indefinite extension of the travel ban currently placed on the AFF President and all members of the AFF currently being investigated by the office of the Afghanistan Attorney General. This travel ban should remain in place until the investigations by both FIFA and the Attorney General’s office have been concluded and decisions have been reached.

“The crisis in football in Afghanistan is about more than just one man and highlights profound failings in the integrity of world football governance. My international football social enterprise – AFDP Global – recently issued a set of recommendations to FIFA and the AFF to ensure the future prevention of abuse and mistreatment in football.

“These included:

  • •                    Ensuring players, staff and their families, including whistleblowing third parties, receive appropriate levels of protection from persecution, intimidation and violence
  • •                    Ensuring that FIFA Member Associations that fail to safeguard their staff and players are dealt severe sanctions, to include voting sanctions, financial penalties, suspension and expulsion
  • •                    Establishing clear safeguarding policies for players and referees, including “bright lines” regarding what is appropriate and inappropriate conduct
  • •                    Ensuring all relevant bodies have accessible, transparent and independent whistleblowing processes.

“The culture in football needs urgent reform and the statutes need to be defined so that being a Member Association of FIFA entails duties and responsibilities to protect the integrity of the game and the players.”


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