Herat residents say Taliban prevented celebrations of national futsal team’s victory

HERAT, Afghanistan — Residents of Herat province reported that the Taliban dispersed gatherings intended to celebrate the Afghanistan national futsal team’s recent victory and its qualification for the World Cup 2024.

According to locals, Taliban forces reacted strongly to celebrations held at the Herat Sports Stadium, where people were dancing and clapping.

Despite the opposition, many Herat residents continued to celebrate the victory until midnight. Video footage received by Amu News shows youths from various districts and villages gathering at the provincial stadium to mark the national futsal team’s achievement.

Some of the footage depicts Taliban members stopping the playing of music and the activities of dancing and clapping, while also dispersing the crowd.

However, the residents did not cease their festivities and carried on celebrating in other districts and villages. “Because of the national futsal team’s qualification for the World Cup, the people of Herat were very happy, and thousands gathered from the city and surrounding districts to dance and clap,” said Ezzatullah, a Herat resident.

In the Jabrial township of Herat, dozens of people defied the Taliban’s restrictions by playing the song “Victory is Ours” and celebrated with joy and excitement.

“This victory has made hundreds of thousands of people around the world, especially our Afghans in Afghanistan, happy. We are proud to have such honors. In the current situation, such celebrations are the strength of every Afghan,” said Feraidon, another Herat resident.

The celebrations come amid severe humanitarian and economic challenges in Afghanistan.

The Afghan national futsal team made history by defeating Kyrgyzstan and qualifying for the AFC Futsal World Cup 2024 for the first time.