IOC ‘extremely concerned’ about the Taliban’s restrictions on women and girls’ sport

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) has said it is “extremely concerned” by the Taliban’s restrictions on women and girls’ sport.

The IOC’s Executive Board met on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, reiterating its call for the Taliban to reverse restrictions imposed on women and girls participating in sporting activities. The group’s restrictions, the IOC said, are “contrary to the Olympic values of non-discrimination, inclusion and respect.”

The Olympic Games’ governing body said that the Taliban had refused to reverse restrictions on women and girls’ sport “despite the repeated calls from the IOC”, urging Afghanistan’s National Olympics Committee and the Directorate of Physical Education and Sport to “drastically strengthen and accelerate their efforts with the highest authorities in the country, and expects to see significant progress and concrete results at all levels in the very near future.”

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The IOC said it has not decided on Afghanistan’s participation in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, and any action on that regard will be made after the Asian Games.

The Taliban’s restrictions on women and girls’ sport forced many sportswomen to leave Afghanistan, including the women’s football and cricket teams.

On Tuesday, a group of over a 100 parliamentarians from the UK, Australia, Portugal and Italy wrote to Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, urging him to do more to support exiled Afghan female footballers.