Taliban refused to recognize participation of Afghan female athletes in Olympics as legitimate

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The Taliban refused to recognize the participation of three Afghan female athletes in the Summer Olympics, which will be held this year in Paris, reported Radio France Internationale (RFI).

The official representative of the Taliban government’s sports administration, Atal Mashwani, emphasized that only men can represent the state in the competition, as sports for women are banned in the country. The official also expressed outrage that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) did not discuss the composition of the national team with the Afghan authorities, according to the RFI report.

Earlier, the IOC, following consultations with members of the Afghan National Olympic Committee, most of whom are outside the country, allowed six athletes to participate in the main games of the quadrennium. Three of them are women.

The head of the Afghan NOC, Dad Mohammad Payenda Akhtari, noted that regarding the men, his office consulted with the Taliban, but the committee decided the issue of female athletes independently, the radio reported.

Meanwhile, only one member of the team is currently in and training in Afghanistan. The other two athletes, a track and field athlete and a swimmer, and the three female athletes, who will compete in track and field and cycling, live outside the country. The names of the female athletes have not been disclosed, but it is highly likely that the women's part of the Afghan team will include sprinter Kamia Yousufi, who participated in the last two Olympics, and cyclist sisters Farida and Yulduz Hashimi, who became champions at a tournament in Switzerland.

Radio Azattyk clarifies that the athletes will compete under the flag of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, which was changed after the Taliban came to power.

After the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in 2021, the country officially banned women from participating in any sports. Commenting on this decision, the deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission said it did not align with "Islamic values" and stated that the government would not compromise on this issue.

CentralasianLIGHT.org

July 9, 2024