The previous captain of the Afghan girls’s soccer workforce has urged gamers to delete social media, erase public identities and burn their kits for security’s sake now that the nation is once more beneath Taliban rule.
Copenhagen-based Khalida Popal informed Reuters in a video interview on Wednesday that the militants had killed, raped and stoned girls up to now and feminine footballers have been afraid of what the longer term may maintain.
The co-founder of the Afghan girls’s soccer league stated she had all the time used her voice to encourage younger girls “to face sturdy, to be daring, to be seen” however now she had a distinct message.
“Immediately I am calling them and telling them, take down their names, take away their identities, take down their pictures for his or her security. Even I am telling them to burn down or eliminate your nationwide workforce uniform,” she stated.
“And that’s painful for me, for somebody as an activist who stood up and did every part attainable to realize and earn that identification as a girls’s nationwide workforce participant.
“To earn that badge on the chest, to have the appropriate to play and signify our nation, how a lot we have been proud.”
Throughout their 1996-2001 rule, guided by Islamic legislation, the Taliban stopped girls from working. Ladies weren’t allowed to go to high school and ladies needed to put on burqas to exit, after which solely when accompanied by a male family member.
Those that broke the principles typically suffered humiliation and public beatings by the Taliban’s non secular police.
The Taliban have stated they’ll respect the rights of girls throughout the framework of Islamic legislation.
Popal stated soccer had enabled girls to take a robust stand for his or her rights, and to defy those that would have them silenced.
“They’re so afraid. They’re apprehensive, they’re scared, not solely the gamers, but in addition the activists… they’ve no one to go to, to hunt safety, to ask for assist if they’re at risk,” she stated of the scenario now.
“They’re afraid that any time the door can be knocked.
“What we’re seeing is a rustic collapsing,” she added. “All of the pleasure, happiness to be there to empower men and women of the nation is prefer it was simply wasted.”
A spokesperson for FIFA stated the world soccer physique shared “concern and sympathy with all these affected by the evolving scenario.
“We’re in touch with the Afghanistan Soccer Federation, and different stakeholders, and can proceed to watch the native scenario and to supply our help within the weeks and months to return.”
(Writing by Alan Baldwin, enhancing by Toby Davis)