fifa called on to recognise exiled afghanistan women’s soccer team
In a letter sent Friday to FIFA, bipartisan US lawmakers called on the international governing body of football to recognise the exiled Afghanistan women’s soccer team. The players fled to Australia as refugees after the Taliban took control of the Afghan government in 2021.
Ever since the takeover, which saw several prominent women flee the country for fear of persecution, Afghan women’s freedoms and rights have been drastically limited, with women banned from attending colleges, travelling without a male chaperone and playing soccer.
The UN has condemned the curtailing of rights as a potential crime against humanity. In the letter, a bipartisan group of US lawmakers argued recognising the Afghan team would send an important message to women and girls around the world.
How Has The Situation Been For The Men’s Team?
The lawmakers called on FIFA to support “every woman and girl trapped under Taliban rule.” It comes as the FIFA Women’s World Cup enters its final stages. The exiled team launched a petition at the end of July that has received more than 80,000 signatures.
“We were forced to flee our homeland simply because we played football,” the players wrote in the petition, highlighting their dream of officially representing Afghanistan at the World Cup. “FIFA has repeatedly ignored our pleas to formally recognize our right to play,” they stressed.
Meanwhile, the organization continues to recognize the men’s team as official representatives of Afghanistan. It remains to be seen how circumstances for Afghan women change in the weeks ahead. Will it change for the better or just get worse with each passing day?