Taliban ban IPL broadcast in Afghanistan over ‘female audience’
Taliban fighters patrol a street in Kabul on August 29, 2021. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)
THE Taliban, who stormed back to power in Afghanistan in August, have put a ban in the broadcast of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament over the presence of “female audience and spectators” at the venues.
The extremist outfit has targeted women over participation in sports since their return to power, leaving the international sporting fraternity deeply worried.
Former Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) media manager and journalist M Ibrahim Momand said the live broadcast of IPL matches was banned due to possible “anti-Islamic” content.
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“Afghanistan national (TV) will not broadcast the @IPL as usual as it was reportedly banned to live the matches resumed tonight due to possible anti-islam contents, girls dancing & the attendance of barred (sic) hair women in the (stadium) by Islamic Emirates of the Taliban,” Momand tweeted on Sunday (19) when the 2021 edition of the T20 cricket tournament resumed in the United Arab Emirates after a gap of more than five months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Another journalist Fawad Aman, who has also served as the spokesperson of the Afghanistan defence ministry, wrote, “Ridiculous: Taliban have banned the broadcasting of Indian Premier League (IPL) in Afghanistan.
“Taliban have warned that Afghan media outlets should not broadcast the Indian Cricket League due to girls dancing and the presence of female audience and spectators in stadiums.”
Some of Afghanistan’s top cricketers like Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb ur Rahman are also taking part in the IPL.
According to a media report, Afghanistan’s new sports chief last week said that the Taliban will allow 400 sports — but declined to say anything on women’s participation. “Please don’t ask more questions about women,” he was quoted as saying.
When the Taliban were in power in Afghanistan between 1996 to 2001, women were banned from playing any sport.
After taking over the country last month, the group has stressed that women’s rights would be respected within the framework of Islam. The knockout stage is scheduled to begin on October 10 with the final slated to be held on October 15.