‘All Dream Are Gone’, Former Afghanistan Captain Fear For His Homeland

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Khalida Popal, the former captain of the Afghan national women’s team, is reflecting on the tragic events unfolding in her homeland as the Taliban reclaim power after 20 years.

Fearing what the Taliban rule would entail for women in the country, the women’s team director is now stationed in Denmark and is frantically trying to aid and advise her players.

“I receive messages from players from Afghanistan who are crying, saying we are abandoned and stuck at home not able to get out, they are afraid,” Popal, 34, tells BBC Sport. “All the dreams have just gone. It is just like a nightmare.
“I have not been able to sleep, I have been crying and feeling helpless.”

“Players are sending their videos and saying ‘the people I talked against are now outside my door, I cannot breathe, I am so scared and I don’t see any protection’. “What is happening right now is back to square one. We feel the show is over.”

Popal has deactivated the national team’s Twitter account in order to “protect” the team from being identified by current or former players, and she is recommending players to do the same.

“We encouraged women and girls to stand up and be bold, and now I am telling them to take photos down, shut down your social media and try to shut down their voices. This causes so much pain,” she adds.

Source: BBC Sport

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