IOC calls on Taliban to lift restrictions on sports for women

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) in a statement released on Wednesday reiterated its call on the Taliban to lift the restriction it imposed on women and girls, banning them from practicing sports in Afghanistan.

The IOC, according to the statement, had previously called on Taliban to take action and urgently reverse the restriction and ensure safe access to sport for women and girls in the country.

But there has been no “tangible progress” made on the issue since December 2022, when the IOC made the call for the first time.

Based on a report from the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee (NOC) and Afghanistan General Directorate of Physical Education and Sports, the IOC stated, sports authorities in Afghanistan have been in discussions with the Taliban’s authorities to address the issue.

With the Taliban’s restriction still on its place, the IOC declared commitment to support athletes who aim to qualify for and participate in the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

According to IOC, ten athletes currently benefit from an Olympic Solidarity scholarship, and most of them are training abroad with the help of Olympic committees of their host countries.

In its December decision, the IOC’s Executive Board had subjected activities of the Afghan National Olympic Committee within the Olympic Movement, particularly Afghanistan’s participation in the Olympic Games Paris 2024, to women’s access to sports in Afghanistan.