Since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, women’s soccer in Afghanistan was seen as a symbol that the country would experience a new stage of freedom for women.
Unfortunately, that didn’t last long: Recently the Afghan Olympic Committee revealed a shocking truth.
What was seen as a social and sporting triumph, became an opportunity to make Afghan women who practice sports, victims of sexual abuse in women’s soccer.
The ex-captain of the Afghan national team, Hahlida Popal, is one of the athletes who has repeatedly denounced the abuses, according to her the sexual abuse is not only in the Football Federation but in other sports disciplines of her country. Clearly, it is something that they necessary need to start fighting against
Since last week, the scandal has hit the sports sector, FIFA confirmed that work is already underway in the respective investigations of the complaints filed by several players of the women’s team in Afghanistan.
Various sports news outlets have interviewed some athletes victims of abuse and one of them remembered the words a team coach told her: “Show me how beautiful you are, because only pretty girls will be in the team”.
Meanwhile, the president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, accepted the gravity of the denunciations, since the Afghans would be scandalised and they would not let their children practice sports, reason why, it recognised the importance of acting effectively.
Some sports leaders have already been summoned by the Afghan parliament to inquire about the events. It will take a long time but let’s hope this topic gets sorted effectively for women not to suffer this kind of behaviour anymore; so they can enjoy the beauty of football.