Seven female taekwondo players, who fled Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, will now settle in Melbourne. Australian Taekwondo’s chief executive Heather Garriock has informed that the women athletes were completing their quarantine this week. Although their identities have not been disclosed, no female Afghan taekwondo athlete took part in the Tokyo Olympics this year.
Garriock also added that Australia national soccer captain Craig Foster, who has now become a top humanitarian advocate, worked very closely with the Australian government, Australian Taekwondo as well as with the Oceania Taekwondo when they were involved in a high-risk evacuation from Afghanistan immediately after the Taliban stormed to power in the country.
Ever since the Taliban came to power, they have, on multiple occasions, said that they will not allow women to participate in sports.
Fatima Ahmadi is one of the rescued athletes. She expressed gratitude to all the parties that assisted in their evacuation, adding that they felt safe in Australia and faced no danger.
“Australian Taekwondo helped us a lot and I am so thankful. We are now waiting to do some useful things for Australia and repay your help,” she added.
It should be mentioned here that Afghanistan’s soccer team players are among the dozens of other athletes granted visas by Australia to live and ply their trade in the country.
Once the new Taliban government took power in the country, women in many areas across the country have been ordered to stay at home and not work either in the private or public sectors.