Paris Olympics 2024: Taliban denies recognition to Afghanistan female athletes taking part in games – WION

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Taliban has said that it doesn’t recognise Afghanistan women athletes participating in Paris Olympics 2024. The news was confirmed by a sports official of Taliban which currently rules Afghanistan post the USA’s exit in 2021.

A total of six athletes including three women, mostly in exile, will be taking part in the upcoming summer games.

“Only three athletes (referring to the male competitors) are representing Afghanistan,” said spokesman of the Taliban government’s sports directorate Atal Mashwani to news agency AFP.

“Currently, in Afghanistan girls’ sports have been stopped. When girls’ sport isn’t practiced, how can they go on the national team?,” he added.

He also said that the Taliban government is supporting the male athletes with training and scholarships as well.

Two of three male athletes live outside Afghanistan while one judo fighter trains in the country. Women athletes, all living in exile, will be participating in athletics and cycling.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that they have not consulted Taliban officials about the Afghanistan team and that they were not invited to the games.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams also confirmed “sole interlocutors for the preparation and participation of the Afghan team” is Afghanistan national Olympic committee which operates from outside the country. The Afghan committee also includes the president and secretary-general – both in exile.

Committee’s CEO Dad Mohammad Payenda Akhtari, however, lives in Taliban-ruled country and said the coordination was done with Taliban over male candidates.

Afghanistan were also banned in 1999 games – during the first rule of Taliban from 1996 to 2001.

Afghanistan was reinstated after the Taliban were ousted by the post-9/11 invasion, but the Paris games mark the first summer Olympics since their return.

This time, the IOC has taken a different approach — approving the Afghan team under a system ensuring all 206 nations are represented, in cases where athletes wouldn’t otherwise qualify.

(With inputs from agencies)

Prashant Talreja

I am a sports journalist with over 10+ years of experience in covering multiple sports including cricket, badminton, Formula 1, tennis as well as NBA, NFL, MLB an

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