Afghanistan to send three women, three men to compete at Paris Olympics

Afghanistan to send three women, three men to compete at Paris Olympics
Afghanistan will send a 3 women and 3 men to complete in the Paris Olympics, after the IOC said it worked hard to ensure that female athlete could compete.
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An equal number of men and women from Afghanistan will compete in the Paris Summer Olympics [Getty/file photo]

Afghanistan will send a team of three women and three men to the Paris Olympics as demanded by the International Olympic Committee following the return to power of the Taliban in August 2021, the IOC announced on Thursday.

The women will compete in athletics and cycling while their male counterparts will feature in athletics, swimming and judo.

"This is the result of the ongoing work that the IOC has been undertaking over the last few years, working closely with the National Olympic Committee of Afghanistan to ensure that female athletes can participate in the Games," said IOC spokesman Mark Adams.

However, the IOC said that "no representative of the Taliban government will be accredited" for the Olympics.

The IOC confirmed that Afghanistan's national Olympic committee - including the president and the secretary-general in exile - remain "its sole interlocutors for the preparation and participation of the Afghan team," according to Mr. Adams.

Since the return of the Taliban to power in Kabul, the IOC has been pressing the Afghan authorities to guarantee "access to sport in complete safety for women and young girls", by providing financial aid to athletes.

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In mid-March, the Olympic body insisted that it would "do everything possible" to ensure that an Afghan team "respecting gender parity" was sent to the 2024 Olympics.

After "a certain number of discussions" with Afghan athletes, the IOC "does not think that isolating the Afghan sports community at this time is the right approach," said James Macleod, the IOC's director of Olympic Solidarity.