Bangladeshi FIFA council member jailed

DHAKA, Bangladesh — A Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate on Saturday sent FIFA council member Mahfuza Akhter Kiron to jail after rejecting her bail application in a defamation case filed over remarks deemed to be derogatory about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Kiron, who also heads women's football at the Bangladesh Football Federation, had reportedly told a TV talk show last month that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was less interested in football than cricket.

Kiron's lawyer Liakat Hossain told The Associated Press that police arrested her at her residence. She then appeared before the court of magistrate Abu Sufian Noman, who rejected her bail request.

"We sought bail for her after she was taken to the court. But our prayer was rejected," Hossain said.

Kiron was arrested after an arrest warrant was issued against her on Tuesday. The warrant was prompted by sports organizer Abul Hasan Chowdhury Prince, who filed a defamation claim against her on the same day.

Kiron was elected to the FIFA Council in 2017. She previously served as a member of the organizing committee for the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 and the last two FIFA U-20 Women's World Cups — Canada 2014 and Papua New Guinea 2016.

She is also a member of the AFC's Executive Committee and Women's Committee.

In his defamation claim against Kiron, Hasan, who is a member of the Mohammedan Sporting Club, said the comment about the country's sports-loving Prime Minister embarrassed the entire nation.

Hasan's lawyer, Refayetul Karim, alleged that Kiron made objectionable comments about the Prime Minister during a TV appearance on March 8.

"Mahfuza told the TV show that PM maintains double standard for football and cricket. She rewards cricket for personal gain but ignore football," Karim said.

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