Authorities in Bangladesh on Saturday jailed a senior FIFA Council member after rejecting her bail application in a case filed for making allegedly defamatory comments regarding Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, AP reported. The Federation Internationale de Football Association is the governing body of world football.
A metropolitan magistrate court in Dhaka ordered that FIFA council member Mahfuza Akhter Kiron, who heads women’s football at the Bangladesh Football Federation, be sent to jail. Kiron had reportedly told a television talk show earlier this month that Hasina was less interested in football than cricket.
A local sports administrator, Abul Hasan Chowdhury, had filed a formal complaint against Kiron over her remarks. The court then issued an arrest warrant against Kiron on March 12.
Kiron’s lawyer Liakat Hossain said she was arrested from her home. She then appeared before the court of magistrate Abu Sufian Noman, who rejected her bail plea. “We sought bail for her after she was taken to the court,” said Hossain. “But our prayer was rejected.”
The complainant’s lawyer, Refayetul Karim, claimed that Kiron made objectionable comments about Hasina during a television appearance on March 8. The remarks had embarrassed the nation, said the complaint.
“Mahfuza told the TV show that the PM maintains double standard for football and cricket,” said Karim. “She rewards cricket for personal gain, but ignores football.”
Kiron was elected to the FIFA Council in 2017. She has served as a member of the organising committee for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the last two FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups in 2014 and 2016. She is also a member of the Asian Football Confederation’s Executive Committee and Women’s Committee.