Over a 100 parliamentarians urge Fifa chief to support exiled Afghan female footballers

A group of more than 100 parliamentarians from the UK, Australia, Portugal and Italy have written to Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, urging him to do more to support exiled Afghan female footballers.

The letter, according to The Guardian, calls on Fifa to uphold its commitments to equality and to push back against restrictions placed on Afghan women’s participation in sport.

“The right to play football, and the right to compete, should be protected,” said Julie Elliott, one of the letter’s signatories and a member of the UK parliament. “Fifa should be doing much more to support these women to regain their place on the world stage.”

The letter comes after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021 and banned women from playing sport. Many Afghan female footballers were forced to flee the country, and those who remain are at risk of reprisals.

The letter to Infantino calls on Fifa to recognise the exiled Afghan women’s national team and to help them organise a committee that can help and maintain the talent that was so prevalent in Afghanistan before the Taliban takeover.


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“We want a permanent solution to this situation,” said Khalida Popal, who is the founder of the Afghan Women’s National Football Team. “We want Fifa to do more to recognise the team, to help us organise a committee that helps and maintains the talent that was so prevalent in Afghanistan before our rights were taken away.”

Fifa has said that it is “committed to ensuring that all women have the opportunity to participate in football” and that it is “in close contact with the Afghan Football Federation to discuss the situation.”