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Taliban death threats force female Afghan boxer to leave country to continue sports


1:42 PM | September 12, 2021

DOHA (Sputnik) – Afghan lightweight boxing champion and member of the national female boxing team Seema Rezai said she was forced to leave the country after the Taliban* threatened her with death unless she refuses to continue boxing training.

“When the Taliban seized Kabul in mid-August, I was at boxing training with my coach. But then some people told the Taliban that there is a girl who trains with a male coach, and they sent me to home a written warning about the need to stop training or continue boxing in the United States, promising to kill if I do not agree to do so,” Rezai said.

After that, the 18-year-old athlete decided to leave the homeland alone, without her family, as she wanted to continue her boxing training. Rezai departed for Qatar on an evacuation flight and is currently awaiting a visa to the US, where she hopes to pursue her sports career.

The athlete noted that doing boxing in Afghanistan, even under the previous government, was a great challenge for a woman due to the traditionally negative attitude of Afghan society towards women’s sports careers. For this reason, she believes, the federations and the Afghan Olympic Committee have never found money for female teams’ participation in international competitions.

Rezai began to do boxing professionally at the age of 16. Because of the family’s negative attitude towards her hobby, it was her coach that bought her training equipment.

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