Taliban ban IPL from airing in Afghanistan

Public presence of women a contentious topic in Afghanistan since Taliban’s Kabul takeover on August 15

No international cricket for Afghans as the Taliban has reportedly banned media outlets from airing the Indian Premier League (IPL) due to the presence of female spectators at the matches.

Afghan Journalist Fawad Aman claimed in a tweet that the Taliban warned media outlets not to show matches of the IPL as women could be seen dancing in the audience. Alam said it was ‘ridiculous’ for the Taliban to do so.

The public presence of women in Afghanistan has been a hot topic since the Afghan Taliban took over the capital city of Kabul on August 15. As US troops departed the region after a two decade long foreign occupation, several women took to social media to voice their fears of living under the new conservative regime. Reports of women being shunned from public spaces such as universities and workplaces also emerged in Herat and Kabul.

According to several media reports this month, Afghan women were also barred by the Taliban from playing cricket and other sports in Afghanistan. The deputy head of Taliban’s cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, told an Australian news channel that women playing cricket was inappropriate as their faces and bodies may be uncovered during the sport. The Afghan women’s football team also fled the country and were granted permission to transit through Pakistan before they headed to Europe and the US.

Meanwhile, in his first media address since reclaiming Afghanistan, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that women would be a part of society and their right to education and work would be respected if they conformed to Islamic law.