and among the meshes of this censorship sport had also fallen. The football stadiums, now unused, were converted to places used for public executions.
Precisely those places that should instead be a land of union, where to create links between peoples and individuals, to erase any social, ethnic and thought diversity.
Today, the sports facilities have returned to their initial function and football has returned to be a sport practiced by young people, but not only: it is indeed spreading among the girls.
During the Taliban regime, women lived dark years, when they left their homes alone or even went to school. With the fall of the regime, they were finally free to live a more autonomous life and, in this specific case, free to practice sports, even at a competitive level.
In 2016 there were more than a thousand athletes registered in the federations, active in six provinces of the country (l), whose 22 teams compete in a championship. In addition, the women’s national team has participated in some international tournaments in recent years, a sign that something is really changing.
In a country where a member of parliament has affirmed without reserve that he would never send his daughter to play football, calling it a “sinful practice”, the families of the young have initially worried, frightened by the possible retaliation that could have suffered their daughters and that still could occur. The cultural obstacle and conservatism, still creeping among the population and among politicians, forces young athletes to pay the utmost attention.
“Our families support us, but they also tell us to be careful. We are going to play incognito “, explains Maryam Merzhad, of Herat’s team
“We convene workouts via SMS. And every time we change the day. The Taliban and other radical Islamists hate what we do and we prefer not to expose ourselves too much “, says Najibullah Nawrozi, head coach and head of the Herat Sports Committee” The Taliban have sworn to me. But I certainly do not stop. Seeing the progress of these girls is a source of enormous satisfaction for me ”
The workouts take place mainly in morning hours, away from prying eyes and when the temperata is not yet high. The uniforms of the players are in fact in line with the Islamic precepts, so that no flap of skin can be shown, with the exception of hands and face.
To meet this need, some sports products companies are devising special uniforms, including leggins and hijabs, including Hummel, a Danish company, which has designed a suitable shirt that allows women to play without the fabric of veil falls on their face.