KABUL – A group of US lawmakers from both sides of the aisle has come together to appeal to the FIFA for the official recognition of Afghanistan women’s football team, which has been in exile in Australia following the Taliban’s takeover of the Afghan government in August 2021.
The team, along with prominent women from Afghanistan, had to seek refuge in Australia to escape the threat of persecution. Since the Taliban assumed power, women’s rights and freedoms have been severely restricted, with girls and women being barred from participating in the country’s education system. The United Nations has even cautioned that these actions might amount to crimes against humanity.
The Congressional Soccer Caucus co-chairs, Representatives Don Bacon and Darin LaHood from the Republican Party, and Representatives Kathy Castor and Rick Larsen from the Democratic Party, are leading this bipartisan initiative. Their call to FIFA is not only to enable the Afghanistan women’s football team to stand for women and girls living under Taliban rule but also to convey a powerful message of support to women globally.
In a parallel effort, the Afghan women’s football team has launched a petition in July, urging FIFA to officially recognize their representation of Afghanistan. It’s noteworthy that the Afghan men’s football team maintains its FIFA recognition amid these developments.