Women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai calls support for the Afghan women’s football team, calling for the women’s team to be recognised by FIFA. The women’s team was banned from playing the sport in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover in 2021.
Malala who seems to be an avid football fan been fighting for the recognition of the Afghan Women’s football team by the FIFA board. Currently, the team resides in Melbourne, Australia, where they escaped to in 2021, but right now the football team is not recognised by the government or the FIFA organisation.
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The Nobel Laureate talked about how the team was forced to escape Afghanistan and take refuge in Australia saying “Football is for the players, and if players cannot get the opportunity to play, then what is all this game for? What is FIFA if it cannot help us [to] play football?”
On her Insta handle, she took the time to recognize the heroic efforts of the founder of the Afghanistan Women’s team, Khaleda Popal, who was largely responsible for helping her players “escape near-certain death” after the militant group laid control.
“I’m very sad. I was expecting a lot more for football’s governing body,” said Khalida Popal, who was the former captain of the women’s football team. “[Fifa needs] to stand with these women. We want leadership – we need a strong voice to stand with us. Don’t keep silent.”