IOC reiterates calls for Taliban to allow women and girls full access to sports

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board has reiterated its call to the Taliban to make “significant progress” on ensuring safe and inclusive access to sports for women and young girls in Afghanistan.

The IOC said that the organization and the Taliban-run Afghanistan National Olympic Committee and the Afghan Directorate of Physical Education and Sports have held talks over the past few months to address the issue.

The organization said that it was “made aware of recent developments, in particular at the level of primary schools to allow young girls to practice sport, as a first step, but reiterated that this remains insufficient.”

The IOC added that it “continues to be extremely concerned by the restrictions placed on women and young girls to access sport in Afghanistan, which have not been reversed despite the repeated calls from the IOC and which run contrary to the Olympic values of non-discrimination, inclusion, and respect.”

“Consequently, the IOC EB urges the Afghan NOC and the Afghan Directorate of Physical Education and Sports 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,” the organization said.

The International Olympic Committee also said that it will review the situation at its next meeting in October 2023, after the Asian Games, and “reserves the right to take any further measures to protect women and young girls’ access to sport”

“The specific details for the participation of the Afghan NOC delegation and team in the Olympic Games Paris 2024 have not been decided yet,” it added.

The organization said that “until then, the IOC EB decision taken on 6 December 2022, which stated clear conditions with regard to any support to, activities with and continued operations of the Afghan NOC, remains fully in place.”

The IOC stressed that it continues to directly support athletes aiming to qualify for and participate in the Olympic Games Paris 2024.