London, United Kingdom.
refugee in Denmark, former captain of the Afghanistan women’s team, Khaleda Bhopal, also qualifiedheartbreaking“The situation women have gone through in their country of origin since the Taliban seized power.
Bhopal, 34, who was granted asylum in Denmark in 2016, admits it He can’t sleep thinking about the danger his compatriots face Still in Afghanistan.
According to her, there are already militants who go from house to house in search of the enemies of the regime, despite the promises of the Islamic group to work for national reconciliation and tolerance of their opponents.
The family of Khaleda Bhopal, who lives in the western city of Herat, has already reported changes.
The women in my family who went out on the street were told to turn around and go home, this They didn’t go to school or they would be beaten‘, says the former footballer from Copenhagen.
Khaleda Popal fears for Afghan players, seeing football as a tool to fight for women’s rights.
“I was one of the people who built the team with him The goal of staying together as women in Afghanistan‘, he remembers.
We wanted to send a message to the world and the Taliban: We (women) We are not weakAnd You can kill our sistersBut we will show you that we are by your side.”
My players are the girls who claim on social media that the Taliban are the enemy. Now they see this armed enemy in front of their doors and windows and are afraid of what will happen to them.”
Khaleda Bhopal describes the situation as “heartbreaking”. She says her players find it difficult to understand why the international community has abandoned them.
“When players call me or send me voice messages, they say:”Why did they betray us (the West)? Why did politicians abandon the women of Afghanistan? What did we do wrong? “
Due to the denial of access to Kabul airport, it is unlikely that the players will be evacuated from the country.
“Nowadays, those who live in the country are moving from one place to another,” Bhopal says.
What is frightening is that no one wants to protect them because the Taliban is frightening them by saying: If you do not give us information about our enemies, You and your family will be killed.”“.
Bhopal remembers facing gender discrimination when she was in charge of the finances of the National Football League, with some men refusing to accept her salary because she was a woman.
But according to her, this is nothing compared to the lives of women under the Taliban regime, from 1996 until their expulsion after the September 11 attacks in the United States.
They announced on Tuesday that they would respect women’s rights and allow them to work and educate themselves, albeit under Islamic law. “Empty and hollow words‘, Paragraph Immortal Bhopal.
She regretted, “They announced that it would be under Sharia, because we saw what it provided in the past to the women of Afghanistan and other countries.”
If they follow the law, It will not give women any rightswhoever they are. All the dreams they had will evaporate“.
For the former footballer, it’s hard to see history repeating itself two decades later.
I was a girl when the Taliban seized power They told me not to play in the streetAnd that she didn’t go to school, she would end up burnt out,” she recalls.
“When they started hitting my parents and threatening my family, we left And we spent nearly eight years in refugee camps in Pakistan.”
With the hope of returning to his country. But the false promises were made, and once again the country was left alone to return to the starting box.”
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