Afghanistan’s women’s football players say they are at risk of becoming s.e.x slaves to the Taliban and being tortured to death.
Football is highly popular in Afghanistan with national stars enjoying a large profile thanks to both men and women’s games being broadcast on TV, making the players highly visible targets for the new regime.
During Taliban rule in 1996 to 2001, many sports and recreational activities including football were banned for all citizens, while women were forbidden from even leaving the house without being accompanied by a male relative and were often subjected to horrific sexual attacks.
Now the international stars, many of whom are in hiding, say they fear being captured and beaten by the militants.
Goalkeeping coach Wida Zemarai told Swedish news outlet Expressen: ‘It’s awful to think about. They themselves have said they are there to do jihad and that they choose girls as sex slaves.
‘Should the Taliban get hold of any of the girls, they will not have them lying at home like dolls. They want to use them as s3x slaves and torture them. Maybe until they die.’
Zemarai and her family previously fled Afghanistan in 1992 when the Taliban were seizing the country by force.
She returned to the country to play as a goalkeeper from 2014 and now works as a coach, and has been in contact with the players at risk under the new regime.