Afghan Female Athletes Lament Taliban Takeover: ‘The Show is Over’

August 17, 2021

The safety and rights of Afghan women—including those who play sports—have come into sharp focus as the Taliban rapidly gains control of Afghanistan’s government.

Many women players and coaches in Afghanistan “are on the run,” said Khalida Popal, founder and former captain of the Afghan women’s soccer team and director of Girl Power Organization, an NGO that uses sports and education to empower and unify girls and women. “Their identities have been exposed,” Popal told Sportico in a phone call from Denmark. “They are a target group for the terrorists.” Sportico