US lawmakers call on FIFA to recognize Afghanistan’s exiled women’s team

A bipartisan group of US lawmakers issued a plea to FIFA, urging the international soccer governing body to officially recognize the exiled Afghanistan women’s soccer team.

The team has been forced into exile in Australia since the Taliban seized control of the government in Afghanistan in August 2021.

A number of prominent women were also forced to flee the country to evade persecution.

Under Taliban rule, women’s freedoms and rights have been drastically curtailed, including the prohibition of women and girls from participating in the country’s education system, actions that the United Nations has warned could constitute crimes against humanity.

The Congressional Soccer Caucus co-chairs, Republican Representatives Don Bacon and Darin LaHood, along with Democratic Representatives Kathy Castor and Rick Larsen, spearheaded the bipartisan effort.

They urged FIFA to allow the Afghanistan women’s team to represent the women and girls currently under Taliban rule, not just for the sake of the sport, but for the significant message it would send to women worldwide.

The Afghan women’s soccer team also initiated a petition in late July, urging FIFA to acknowledge their representation of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the Afghan men’s team continues to maintain its recognition by FIFA.

However, FIFA has yet to comment on this matter.

Source: Reuters