mandag 29. november 2021

Safe and alive, but 'traumatized,' the future of these Afghan women footballers is very uncertain

They are safe and alive, and have the prospect of new lives in the United Kingdom, but for 130 Afghan female football players and their families it's an existence still full of uncertainty. When the Taliban seized control in mid-August as the United States and Western allies withdrew their forces, women and girls were quickly instructed to stay home from work and school, and hundreds of the country's athletes went into hiding or sought to be evacuated from the country fearing reprisals. 

During the last period of Taliban rule, women were banned from participating in sports, and by late August, Khalida Popal, the former captain of the Afghan women's soccer team, had urged players to delete social media profiles and burn their kits to protect themselves. "They are like a nightmare for my generation. They took over all of our country in one night. And after that night, we were able to see the Taliban on the streets. They were cruel. They didn't have mercy for anyone," 19-year-old defender Narges Mayeli told CNN.