News 10th September 2021

Taliban says Afghan women will not be allowed to play sport

Women will not be allowed to play sport in Afghanistan, the Taliban has confirmed. “In cricket and other sports, women will not get an Islamic dress code”, Ahmadullah Wasiq, the Deputy Head of the Taliban’s Cultural Commission, told Australia’s SBS (video below – click here if it doesn’t load). “It is obvious that they will get exposed and will not follow the dress code, and Islam does not allow that”.

Wasiq told SBS that Islam only allows women to go out on a needs basis, such as for shopping. “I don’t think women will be allowed to play cricket because it is not necessary that women should play cricket”, he said. “In cricket, they might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered. Islam does not allow women to be seen like this.

“It is the media era, and there will be photos and videos, and then people watch it. Islam and the Islamic Emirate do not allow women to play cricket or play the kind of sports where they get exposed.”

On 22 August Azizullah Fazli was appointed as Chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), which has not commented on this latest development. In a statement issued in Dari, Fazli promised fundamental changes and said that he would try to bring a smile to the lips of compatriots through his appointment. 

Fazli previously served as ACB Chairman from September 2018 to July 2019. Two days after his appointment, the Afghan men’s team One Day International (ODI) Super League Series against Pakistan was postponed by mutual consent.

On the same day, 24 August, international football players’ union FIFPro praised the Australian government for evacuating ‘large numbers’ of athletes from the country. On 8 September, Human Rights Watch (HRW) announced that journalists reporting on protests in Kabul by women  demanding rights had received hospital treatment after being detained and beaten with cables.

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