‘It Is Not Necessary’: Taliban Announces Ban On Women’s Sports

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Women in Afghanistan will no longer be allowed to play sports, a Taliban official confirmed Wednesday.

“In cricket and other sports, women will not get an Islamic dress code. It is obvious that they will get exposed and will not follow the dress code, and Islam does not allow that,” deputy cultural commission head Ahmadullah Wasiq told Australia’s SBS News. Taliban officials have previously said that women would have the rights accorded to them under Islamic sharia law. (RELATED: ANALYSIS: Here’s What The Taliban’s Sharia Law Means For Human Rights, And The Violations Have Already Started)

“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,” Wasiq said. “I don’t think women will be allowed to play cricket because it is not necessary that women should play cricket.”

He added that women would be allowed to leave their homes for necessary activities, like shopping, but that “it is not necessary that women should play cricket.”

The Afghanistan national women’s cricket team was fully recognized by the International Cricket Council in 2020.

Khalida Popal, the former captain of the Afghanistan national women’s soccer team, told female athletes to burn their uniforms and delete their social media accounts to prevent the Taliban from identifying them.

“I need the world to stand with my players, with the women of Afghanistan. Some of our players are in great danger, and we have tried our best to get at least some sort of papers for them to leave,” she told Fox News on Aug. 22.

The Taliban has also ordered segregated education, with classrooms in primary schools and universities now separating men and women with curtains and boards.