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

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

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

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

“It’s actually troublesome as a result of the principle motive, particular motive, that I go away 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 twenty 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 battle towards the US-led army coalition.
A convoy of Taliban fighters patrol along a street in Kabul on September 2, 2021.

‘I need to show that ladies are succesful’

The Afghan cyclist’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 women’s nationwide soccer staff final month.

Former Afghanistan women’s assistant coach Haley Carter advised CNN how a “ragtag group” managed to coordinate the protected evacuation of 86 Afghan athletes, officers and members of the family.
Carter labored carefully with the staff’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 grow to be a conduit within the continued battle for women’s rights, Popal’s sentiments are echoed strongly within the cyclist’s personal phrases.

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

“But these days, it’s actually disappointing. It hurts us really to see the state of affairs that the ladies 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 stand for rights of human, largely ladies.

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

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


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

Ahmadullah Wasiq, deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural fee, advised Australia’s SBS News that Afghan women shouldn’t play cricket and different sports activities by which they might be “uncovered.”
“In cricket, they may face a state of affairs the place their face and physique is not going to be lined. Islam doesn’t permit women 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 is the media period, and there might be images and movies, after which folks watch it. Islam and the Islamic Emirate don’t permit women to play cricket or play the type of sports activities the place they get uncovered.”

The International Cricket Council requires its 12 full members — which incorporates Afghanistan — to have a nationwide women’s staff.

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