Afghanistan: Taliban stops Bamiyan football match; orders players ‘to cover up’

The Taliban stopped a football match in central Bamiyan province this week because of the so-called non-Islamic clothing worn by the players.

Local sources in Bamyan told Amu TV that the Taliban disrupted a football match between two teams at the Shahid Mazari Stadium of Bamiyan city on Monday.

The Taliban forces have told the players that they did not observe “Islamic clothing” regulations, the source added.

Sources, who witnessed the Taliban’s move, said that officials from the group’s ministry of vice and virtue stopped the game and forced all the players to leave the stadium due to their “un-Islamic clothing”

The players had been wearing sports jerseys, shorts, socks, and shoes.

An eyewitness said that one of the Taliban members shouted upon entering the stadium: “Cover your bodies” and “Why aren’t you observing the Islamic clothing (regulations).”

According to him, the players were forced to leave the stadium and were not allowed to continue the game.

The Taliban has emphasized that players can no longer play football in non-Islamic clothing.

Afghan athletes have fallen victim to Taliban’s restrictive orders since their takeover last year.

Earlier in July, the Taliban barred men from training alongside teenagers (under 18) at bodybuilding and fitness gyms in western Herat province.

The Taliban said that men would be “stimulated” in the presence of teenagers.

The Taliban have also barred women and girls from taking part in sports or going to gyms, banned music in gyms and banned posters of athletes on walls at these clubs.

The Taliban have put pressure on Afghan athletes to align themselves and their sporting clubs with Islamic Sharia.

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has expressed concern on the matter and has strongly condemned restrictions on Afghan women and girl athletes by the Taliban.

The IOC stated that allowing women and girls safe access to sports was a condition for Afghanistan’s representation at the 2024 Paris Games.

Human Rights Watch has also called on the International Olympic Committee to suspend Taliban-run Afghanistan from participating in the Games until women and girls can once again play sports in the country.