From swimming to soccer, equestrian to equestrian, Afghanistan’s new sports activities chief mentioned on Tuesday that the Taliban would permit 400 sports activities – however declined to verify whether or not girls might play one. “Please do not ask extra questions on girls,” Bashir Ahmed Rustamzai informed AFP. Rustamzai, a heavy-handed former kung fu and wrestling champion with a bushy black and white beard, was appointed as Afghanistan’s director common for sports activities and bodily training by a radical Islamist group.
As soon as head of a wrestling federation when the Taliban had been in energy, Rustamzai labored with a Western-backed authorities, earlier than falling out with him due to “their widespread corruption”.
“We is not going to ban any sport”
Dressed within the Taliban’s distinctive black turban, Rustamzai repeatedly evaded questions on the problem of ladies’s sport.
Through the brutal and repressive regime of extremists from 1996 to 2001, girls had been fully banned from enjoying any sport, whereas males’s sports activities had been tightly managed. Ladies had been additionally largely restricted from training and work.
Sports activities stadiums had been repeatedly used for public performances.
“We is not going to ban any sport so long as it follows Sharia legislation… 400 sorts of sports activities are allowed,” Rustamzai mentioned.
Shortly after, he noticed an illustration by younger Afghan males, some zooming in on curler blades, and waving white Taliban flags.
Rustamzai mentioned that following Islamic legislation means little change in habits in comparison with different nations.
“It would not change a lot,” he mentioned, including that soccer gamers or Muay Thai boxers, for instance, could be required to put on “shorts that fall beneath the knee” for a bit longer.
Emphasizing on girls’s participation, she mentioned she was nonetheless awaiting orders from the highest Taliban management.
“We will think about universities identical to that: girls are allowed to play sports activities, however separate from males,” mentioned one in every of her advisors.
However Rustamzai didn’t instantly affirm this.
New guidelines on universities permit girls to proceed learning so long as they’re strictly separated from males, and cling to the costume code of an abaya gown and niqab face veil. Curriculum may even be managed.
completely different recreation?
For now, the indicators look bleak for girls.
Final week, Ahmadullah Wasiq, the deputy head of the Taliban’s Cultural Fee, mentioned it was “not vital” for girls to play the game.
“In cricket, they might face a state of affairs the place their face and physique is not going to be lined,” Wasik informed Australian broadcaster SBS. “Islam would not permit girls to be seen that method.”
However the Taliban is already underneath stress, particularly for cricket, the place worldwide guidelines state that nations should even have an energetic girls’s crew with the intention to take part in Check matches.
Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) president Azizullah Fazli later informed SBS Radio Pashto that he nonetheless hoped the ladies would have the ability to play.
“Very quickly, we provides you with the excellent news on how we’ll proceed,” he mentioned.
However Rustamzai distanced herself from the way forward for the ladies’s sport.
“The opinion of our elders (senior Taliban) is necessary,” he mentioned. “In the event that they ask us to authorize girls, we’ll – in any other case we cannot. We’re ready for his or her announcement.”
(This story has not been edited by Informational King workers and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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