Reports about rape scandal in Afghan women’s football raise concerns

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The rape scandal at a training camp organized by the Afghani national football team in Jordan last February has sparked widespread controversy, amid calls for investigations and revealing the truth.

After years of struggle, the Afghani women are now able to practise football. Lately, a national women’s football team had been formed in Afghanistan, representing the country in international forums.

Khalida Popal, who founded the first women’s football team and the former head of the Afghani Federation finance department, was forced to flee from her country in 2016 and sought asylum in Denmark.

Popal - along with two other players, Shabnam Mobarez, Mina Ahmadi, and the coach Kelly Lindsay – have revealed some details about the crisis of the players inside their country and how they were frustrated about a regime they felt had failed to protect them.

Popal said that while investigating the allegations, she heard claims of physical abuse, rapes and threats to rape and kill.

She added: “In a country like Afghanistan, any attempt to disclose such attacks would mean murder,” she added, in remarks to the British newspaper, The Guardian.

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, President of the West Asian Football Confederation and of the Jordan Football Association, asserted that he was following up the allegations published by the media.

Prince Ali said on a series of tweets: “If the women’s claims are true; there will a tough response.”

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