Afghan women soccer team challenges Taliban despite death threat

Last Updated: Nov 29, 2010, 00:39 AM IST

Kabul: Afghan women seem to have gained in confidence in the absence of the Taliban, especially as far as sports are concerned, as many of them have been spotted playing football despite facing death threats.

When the Taliban was in power, no woman was allowed to play sports and female prisoners were publicly executed at Kabul`s soccer stadium. But now, the women`s determination to come and practice in the fields is seen as a direct challenge to the militants, CBS News reports.

Afghan women reportedly play each other for fun, but rarely play matches because the Afghan soccer league is never organised in the country. Even these players face death threats from the insurgent outfit.

Khatol Shahzad Amarkhel quit playing for three months because of the Taliban.

"Someone called my home number. He promised to kill me if I continued to play. I changed my number, but I am still scared."

Nineteen-year-old Sajay Sahar was told to stop playing by family friends, but she did not listen either. She is the top scorer for the team and has one goal in mind.

"It is my only wish to be a famous player in my country and in the world. They say stop playing, but I cannot stop playing. I can stop living, but I cannot stop playing football," she added.

Sahar sees it as a form of protest, and believes that by taking on the Taliban head on, it will help bring about their defeat, the report said.

These women have got opportunities to play in countries like Germany, Jordan and China in the recent past, and now soccer has become more than just a game for these women.

Bureau Report