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Taliban bans women from sport, says 'not necessary' for women to play cricket

Daily life continues after Taliban takeover of the Herat City, Afghanistan, on August 29, 2021 [Mir Ahmad Firooz Mashoof/Anadolu Agency]
Daily life continues after Taliban takeover of the Herat City, Afghanistan, on August 29, 2021 [Mir Ahmad Firooz Mashoof/Anadolu Agency]

The Taliban government banned women from competing in sport, claiming it is "inappropriate" and "not necessary", the Guardian reported yesterday.

The claim for banning women competing in sports was that it did not fit into Islamic law, despite it saying nowhere in the Quran that women are forbidden from participating in sporting events.

In an interview with an Australian TV channel, the Taliban's deputy head of culture commission Ahmadullah Wasiq said: "I don't think women will be allowed to play cricket because it is not necessary that women should play cricket."

"In cricket, they might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered. Islam does not allow women to be seen like this."

He continued: "It is the media era, and there will be photos and videos, and then people watch it. Islam and the Islamic Emirate [Afghanistan] do not allow women to play cricket or play the kind of sports where they get exposed."

READ: Afghan teen commits suicide in UK after fear of deportation

In response, Australia's cricket board Cricket Australia (CA) has threatened to pull out of the coming test match with the Afghanistan male cricket team if women are banned from playing.

The CA said in a statement: "If recent media reports that women's cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but to not host Afghanistan for the proposed Test match due to be played in Hobart."

Officials at the Afghanistan cricket board have said they have not received any official confirmation, but have suspended the board's programme for women's cricket.

Sportswomen in Afghanistan are said to have gone into hiding, for fear of retribution from the Taliban.

This comes after the Taliban formed an all-male government, despite promising an "inclusive" administration to quell global concerns over women's rights.

The Taliban also promised that women would continue to be "allowed" to study at university level, however, measures were taken to segregate male and female students by imposing curtains between the two groups.

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