Afghanistan women’s football director Khalida Popal describes heartbreak of Taliban takeover

Afghanistan women’s football director Khalida Popal has spoken about the troubles currently ongoing in the nation.

Popal, with the approval and support of the Afghan Football Association, created a women’s league in the country back in 2007 with the women’s national team playing its first official game in 2010.

She has played a vital role in fighting for the rights of the players and the women of Afghanistan as a whole through her Girl Power Organization and alignment with FIFA.

During a recent interview, she spoke about the ongoing atrocities stemming from the Fall of Kabul and the impending Taliban government that now appears to be on the horizon.

“I have been encouraging to take down social media channels, take down photos, escape and hide themselves,” Popal told The Associated Press. “That breaks my heart because of all these years we have worked to raise the visibility of women and now I’m telling my women in Afghanistan to shut up and disappear. Their lives are in danger.”

“My generation had the hope of building the country, developing the situation for the next generation of women and men in the country,” she said. “So I started with other young women using football as a tool to empower women and girls.”

“They are hiding away. Most of them left their houses to go to relatives and hide because their neighbors know they are players. They are sitting, they are afraid. The Taliban is all over. They are going around creating fear.”

“It’s been very painful to witness when yesterday the government surrendered,” Popal said. “Women lost hope.”

Featured image credit: Getty