Podcast: Heroes & Humans of Football
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HEROES & HUMANS OF FOOTBALL 
EPISODE:
16

Episode 16: Afghanistan's women's national team

The Afghan women’s national team doesn’t exist – not according to FIFA, anyway.

BY: 
SIMON KUPER, MEHREEN KHAN
July 4, 2024
Heroes & Humans of Football (Podcast)
EPISODE
16
-
June 27, 2024

Episode 16: Afghanistan's women's national team

The Afghan women’s national team doesn’t exist – not according to FIFA, anyway. The Taliban banned women's football when they took control of Afghanistan in 2021, forcing the team to flee the country for fear of their lives. But FIFA now refuses to recognise the team in exile, allowing the Taliban to continue their gender apartheid. Today, the team is fighting for FIFA recognition and their place in football. Living in exile and risking their lives to play football, the Afghan women's players are determined to return to the international game.

Mehreen and Simon talk to Khalida Popal, the woman who defied the country's misogynistic norms to set up the national team. She became the first female captain, coach, and executive in Afghanistan's history. This is a story of a team’s courage and comradery in the face of death threats and sexual assaults.

To support the Afghan women's team in their fight for recognition, you can sign this petition and follow Khalida Popal on LinkedIn:

https://www.change.org/p/fifacom-standwithafghanwomen-recognise-afghanistan-women-s-national-football-team-in-exile-follow-alivekicking23

https://www.linkedin.com/in/khalida-popal-64a29176?originalSubdomain=dk