Women’s football in Afghanistan: Nadia Nadim

Women's football in Afghanistan: Nadia Nadim

Nadia Nadim on women’s football in Afghanistan one year on from Taliban takeover

MOSCOW: Nadia Nadim, a journalist with the Daily News who has written extensively about women’s football in Afghanistan, has said she is not looking forward to the first competitive match held under the Afghan authorities.

“It was almost a year a Muslim clerics made a law that said if they play football, it is a sin,” Nadim told Radio Free Europe. “As a woman, you can’t do that… it is totally outrageous.”

Nadia, a member of the International Women’s Sports Federation and a former member of the Afghan Football Federation, is speaking at a conference in Moscow on women’s football. She has a message for the women’s football players from Afghanistan:

“I don’t think this will be a positive start for the game [in Afghanistan]. They don’t have any football infrastructure, they don’t have any football laws… women are at a disadvantage. This country is at a time of war, and in peace, if there is a problem, they just close it down.”

The Daily News interviewed Nadim at the launch conference of the new International Sports Federation for Women, and reported on some of her other work for the women’s movement.

The Taliban are on their way out. Why are women’s football organisations in the UK saying that the Taliban are on their way out?

I think that there was a change of opinion in the United Kingdom, I think that the Afghan women who are playing football now and the women who are supporting them are saying that it is the correct thing [for us to have a government that protects our rights,] which is what a lot of the football associations want also from the British government. And then the Afghan football associations also want this so we also need the support from the government as well. However I think that some of the Afghan football associations are also saying that the Taliban are the right people to be here. Whether some of them are right or wrong is their own business and no one should make a comment about them as individuals.

In March 2001, just before the 9/11 attacks, The International Women’s Sports Federation (IWSF) gave Afghanistan the opportunity to host the first International Women’s Football Tournament… it did not even take one minute to reject the offer. What is your message to the players and those organisations still hopeful?

As much as we are against the war and we are

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