Afghan cyclist’s fears realized as Taliban aims to forbid women from playing sport

They’re being processed within the UAE earlier than heading to Canada to start their new lives.

One lady, who doesn’t want to be named because of security causes, informed CNN she feared being a feminine athlete in Afghanistan as soon as the Taliban took over.

“Oh my God, it’s actually robust to clarify our state of affairs in phrases,” she stated.

“It is actually troublesome as a result of the primary cause, particular cause, that I depart Afghanistan was as a result of I used to be not safe as an athlete. I used to be doing sports activities in Afghanistan, however these days, that’s not protected … I used to be pressured to go away my nation.”

Following almost 20 years of battle, the Taliban reclaimed Afghanistan’s capital and took over the nation’s presidential palace, barely a month after the US started the ultimate withdrawal of army troops from its longest working battle.

On Tuesday, the Taliban announced the formation of a hardline interim authorities for the nation, filling prime posts with veterans of the militant group who oversaw the 20-year combat towards the US-led army coalition.
A convoy of Taliban fighters patrol along a street in Kabul on September 2, 2021.

‘I wish to show that ladies are succesful’

The Afghan bike owner’s story of athlete evacuation is certainly one of a number of to emerge from the Taliban’s takeover, following on from the evacuation of the ladies’s nationwide soccer group final month.

Former Afghanistan ladies’s assistant coach Haley Carter informed CNN how a “ragtag group” managed to coordinate the protected evacuation of 86 Afghan athletes, officers and relations.
Carter labored carefully with the group’s former captain, Khalida Popal, who had additionally spoken to CNN final month relating to the plight of feminine athletes trapped within the nation.

Explaining how sport had develop into a conduit within the continued combat for ladies’s rights, Popal’s sentiments are echoed strongly within the bike owner’s personal phrases.

“We used to apply, we used to have competitions. We even used to compete with boys … And we have been joyful,” she added.

“However these days, it’s actually disappointing. It hurts us truly to see the state of affairs that the women is not going to be allowed.

“As a woman bike owner, as an athlete that I used to be doing sports activities in Afghanistan to face for rights of human, principally ladies.

“I’m planning to exit of my nation as I could not keep … and I wish to proceed my sport and my training. I wish to show that the women are succesful, that ladies have the suitable to do what they need.

“They’re allowed. They need to be allowed to do their research, to do any sport they need and to have a life that they’re alleged to have.”


The bike owner’s revelations are made all of the extra poignant by the announcement of a Taliban official that girls wouldn’t be permitted to play cricket and different sports activities.

Ahmadullah Wasiq, deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural fee, informed Australia’s SBS News that Afghan ladies shouldn’t play cricket and different sports activities wherein they’d be “uncovered.”
“In cricket, they could face a state of affairs the place their face and physique is not going to be lined. Islam doesn’t permit ladies to be seen like this,” Wasiq told SBS News.
A Taliban fighter keeps vigil as spectators watch the Twenty20 cricket trial match being played between two Afghan teams 'Peace Defenders' and 'Peace Heroes' at the Kabul International Cricket Stadium in Kabul on September 3, 2021.

“It’s the media period, and there might be images and movies, after which individuals watch it. Islam and the Islamic Emirate don’t permit ladies to play cricket or play the sort of sports activities the place they get uncovered.”

The Worldwide Cricket Council requires its 12 full members — which incorporates Afghanistan — to have a nationwide ladies’s group.

In November 2020, the Afghanistan Cricket Board announced it had awarded 25 feminine cricket contracts.

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