Author: Teresa

Nadia Nadim is stepping down from the Afghan Women’s Football Board

Nadia Nadim is stepping down from the Afghan Women's Football Board

Nadia Nadim on women’s football in Afghanistan one year on from Taliban takeover

Nadia Nadim was speaking to The New Arab for the second time in a year to talk about the challenges facing women in Afghanistan.

When she was in Kabul, she met with her fellow International Federation of Football Association’s national technical director (a man: Ahmad Shafiq), and they jointly decided to take action to get their country’s Women’s League back in the fold.

“First we decided that if we were going to take action against violence against women and girls, then we had to take action right away. We were taking action against the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan and we needed to see a bigger picture and the whole society affected,” she said.

Nadia Nadim is a prominent woman in Afghan football. She is president of the Afghanistan Football Federation and president of the Afghan Women’s Football Federation.

And she has now stepped down from the roles, which will be replaced by a new women’s football board soon.

But back in Kabul a year ago, she was just one of many people trying to make sure the game in Afghanistan was played with the rights of women at the forefront.

On June 19 an earthquake struck the area of Kandahar and around a dozen hotels collapsed. It was the worst earthquake ever recorded in that region, and the worst to hit Kabul.

As a result, it has been almost one year now since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, forcing a halt to women’s football in the country – as well as a halt to football across the world.

As Nadim was speaking to The New Arab, she was having dinner with journalists.

Women’s football in Europe was enjoying a resurgence a few years ago, but in 2010, a report by the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA) showed that no fewer than 11 women’s teams from Europe – including Italy – had made it into an inaugural Women’s World Cup in South Africa.

Since then, though, it has not happened. Nadim said the situation in Afghanistan was very similar in that women’s football, too, was not part of the programme of the Afghan Football Federation (AFF).

Nadia Nadim on the Afghan women’s team

On that June day, Nadim had just finished a meeting with her boss, the Afghan National Olympic Committee’s executive board

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