FIFA: Afghanistan coach's Infantino criticism 'unjustified'

Kelly Lindsey, coach of the Afghanistan women's soccer team, poses after a news conference in Lyon, France on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Kelly Lindsey is "disgusted" with Gianni Infantino over the handling of sexual abuse cases and calls on the FIFA president to resign. (AP Photo/Rob Harris)

LYON, France — FIFA has denounced "ill-informed and unjustified" criticism of its president, Gianni Infantino, after the coach of the Afghanistan women's national team called him "disgusting" over the handling of sexual abuse investigations.

At a news conference in Lyon ahead of the Women's World Cup final, coach Kelly Lindsey demanded Infantino's departure from FIFA for allegedly not being rigorous enough in pursuing officials in the Afghanistan soccer federation.

FIFA has so far only sanctioned Keramuudin Karim, who was banned for life from soccer last month for repeated sexual abuse of female players while president of the Afghanistan Football Federation.

But in a statement to The Associated Press, FIFA says it is "carefully looking into allegations levelled against additional persons, and will not hesitate to take appropriate measures and impose sanctions if justified."

FIFA added that Lindsey "is well aware of these efforts and the support that FIFA has provided and we are surprised and disappointed at her criticism, which we consider to be both ill-informed and unjustified."

The United States plays the Netherlands in Sunday's final.

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