Sept. 8 (UPI) — A Taliban ruler in Afghanistan said Wednesday that women in the country will be barred from playing sports, including cricket for the national women’s team.
Ahmadullah Wasiq, deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission, told Australian broadcaster SBS that the Taliban don’t consider sports to be appropriate in which for women to participate.
Wasiq was asked about Afghanistan’s men’s cricket team coming to Australia in November and the International Cricket Council requiring participants to have both men’s and women’s teams.
Wasiq said women will not be allowed to play, even if its means the men canceling their matches.
“I don’t think women will be allowed to play cricket because it is not necessary that women should play cricket,” Wasiq told SBS. “In cricket, they might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered. Islam does not allow women to be seen like this.”
Tuesday, the Taliban announced its interim Afghan government, comprised of male Taliban fundamentalists. No women and members of the former U.S.-led Afghanistan government were included.
Wednesday’s remarks by Wasiq are sure to deepen concerns about the treatment of women and girls under the new Afghan regime. Western governments, the United Nations and other human rights groups immediately expressed serious concern about the issue when the Taliban captured Kabul last month and ran off the U.S.-supported government.