Dhe International Olympic Committee has ordered the Taliban government in Afghanistan to allow women and young girls access to sport and to register female athletes living in Afghanistan for international competitions. Otherwise, the country’s National Olympic Committee (NOC) is threatened with exclusion, the IOC Executive Committee decided, accompanied by the expression “serious concern” on Tuesday in Lausanne.
Afghanistan’s participation in the 2024 Summer Olympics also depends on progress. The IOC is thus giving another chance to the Islamist regime, whose recent directives that increase discrimination against women it “strongly condemns”.
The human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) had previously called on the IOC to suspend the Afghan NOK. Since taking power in Kabul in the summer of 2021, the Taliban have increasingly rigorously banned women from participating in social life.
criticism of FIFA
Most recently, the best Afghan soccer players had sharply criticized the international association FIFA. The internationals, who were able to flee Afghanistan in 2021, have been training in Australia for months but cannot play games because the Afghan Football Association no longer recognizes them. FIFA, in turn, follows the national association.
Khalida Popal, who played a key role in organizing the players’ flight from Afghanistan from Europe, told the New York Times that FIFA took the position not to get involved in politics. “This is about human rights and they are aware of that. They have decided to sort us out.” According to the report, a spokesman for the Afghan FA said there was nothing that could be done. The women’s team dissolved with their escape.
The IOC suspended the Afghan NOC between 1999 and 2003 during the Taliban’s first rule. In autumn 2021, IOC representatives and Taliban delegates held talks in Qatar mediated by Qatar’s Emir, IOC member Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Both sides described the meeting as “constructive”, the IOC said the Afghan side had pledged to uphold the Olympic Charter.
About a year later, there can be no question of that. IOC member Samira Asghari, who had already pointed out the daily brutal discrimination after the Taliban took power, wrote on Twitter in August that “primitive people” simply locking up half the population because of their gender was “incredible. I hold developed countries in particular responsible for allowing these atrocities against humanity to happen. What about ‘Never again!’ happens – I guess that doesn’t apply to Afghan women.” The IOC upheld the exclusion of the NOC from Guatemala on Tuesday. There, the constitutional court had declared the statutes of the NOK invalid.