FIFA Council member Mahfuza Akhter Kiron has been granted bail in Bangladesh after her arrest for allegedly defaming the country’s Prime Minister.

Kiron, a member of the FIFA Council since 2017, was arrested at her home in Dhaka on Saturday (March 16) after reportedly accusing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of favouring cricket over football.

The world governing body announced yesterday that they were “concerned” at the situation with Amnesty International among the groups calling for her release.

A court in Dhaka has now granted her bail until April 2 on a BDT10,000 (£90/$120/€105) bond, her lawyer Liakat Hossain said to the Dhaka Tribune.  

Hossain added to Reuters that the decision was made on medical grounds as Kiron is receiving cancer treatment. 

Reports said that Kiron, the head of women’s football in Bangladesh, had initially been denied bail.

The Bangladesh Football Federation has opened its own investigation.  

“FIFA is monitoring this matter with concern and is working closely with the AFC [Asian Football Confederation],”a spokesperson told insidethegames.

“We have requested further details about the situation of Ms Mahfuza Akhter and are awaiting information from the Bangladesh Football Federation.”

Kiron is reportedly facing up to two years in prison if she is found guilty.

Amnesty International said championing football “is not a crime” when calling for the matter to be dropped.

The organisation said that 60 people have been arrested for criticising the Prime Minister and her family.

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