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Who will represent Afghanistan at the Olympics with the Taliban in power?

Who will represent Afghanistan at the Olympics with the Taliban in power?
Who will represent Afghanistan at the Olympics with the Taliban in power?

A team of athletes made up of men and women will represent Afghanistan in Paris 2024a highly symbolic presence for being the first Olympic Games since the Taliban came to power, which has meant a “gender apartheid”according to UN.

Like this government, in power since the summer of 2021is not recognized by any country in the world, Afghan delegations that do or do not appear at major international sporting events are closely scrutinized.

These are the main questions raised about the presence of Afghan athletes in Paris starting July 26.

He International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced last week that The Afghan delegation will be made up of three men and three womenthus fulfilling the organization’s desire for parity.

The men will compete in athletics, swimming and judowhile women will do so in athletics and cycling.

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Neither him IOC neither him Afghan Olympic Committee have specified the identity of these athletes, but the general director of the Afghan Olympic body, Dad Mohammad Payenda Akhtaribased on Kabulassured the AFP that all of them, except the judoka, live abroad.

“As women’s sports are suspended in Afghanistan, athletes have not been sent from the country”assured the Afghan leader. “They all live abroad and are sent (to Paris) by the IOC”which takes financial care of most of the Afghan athletes, he added.

The black, red and green flag of the republic overthrown by the Taliban will be used at the Games, despite the fact that they replaced it with a black and white banner. The majority of Afghan athletes who compete internationally do so defending this flag.

The Taliban government regularly ensures that it supports athletes who represent the country internationally, even if they do so under a flag that is not theirs.

However, they prohibit women from playing sports or attending parks and gyms. They have also excluded girls from schools after primary education, just as they have excluded women from certain jobs.

Akhtari assures that it acts in coordination with the Afghan authorities in charge of sports, despite the fact that the IOC He asks him to interact only with the local Olympic committee, whose president and general secretary are in exile. Never with the Afghan authorities.

“No representative of the Taliban government will be accredited for the Paris Olympics” from July 26 to August 11, announced the spokesperson of the IOC Mark Adams.

Afghanistan continues to compete internationally in sports such as cricket or Asian Games.

The cricket team competed in the World Cup 2023 with the country’s old flag, although its federation is still based in Kabul.

However, some countries such as Australia they refuse to face Afghanistan as a consequence of the Taliban policy of excluding women from sports.

Also last year, a mixed team competed in the Asian Gamesalthough although some of the male athletes live in the country, all the participating women lived abroad.

In the Tokyo Paralympic Gamesin 2021the Afghans Hossain Rasouli and Zakia Khudadadi They paraded with the flag of the republic just a week after the rise to power of the Taliban. They were able to travel to Japan after being evacuated from Kabul.

Afghanistanwhich has the third largest contingent of exiles in the world, with eight million people spread across 103 countries, will also be represented by five athletes who will be part of the Olympic Refugee Team (EOR).

In fact, the captain of this team will be an Afghan, the cyclist Masomah Ali Zadawho already participated in the Tokyo Games.

The other four Afghans who benefit from the refugee status granted by the UN They will compete in cycling, judo, taekwondo and breakdancing.

Source: Ambito

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