— Published 20 June 2022

Afghanistan towards gender equality

Surprise. With less than 800 days to go until the Paris 2024 Games, Afghanistan says it is ready to send a mixed team to the next Olympic Games. The IOC revealed that it held a meeting last week in Doha with representatives of the National Olympic Committee and the Afghan General Directorate of Physical Education and Sports. At the end of the meeting, which was also attended by representatives of the Association of Asian Olympic Committees (AOC), the IOC was reportedly assured that a delegation of both men and women would attend the Paris Games. In a brief statement on the meeting, the IOC said it would “continue to support the Olympic community in the country, as well as the preparation of Afghan athletes and their participation in upcoming international sports competitions.” Discussions are expected to continue between the different parties between now and the next Summer Games. On paper, the commitment of the Afghan sports authorities appears to be a sign of progress. But according to several witnesses and actors close to the issue, the situation on the ground in Afghanistan has been in sharp decline since the Taliban took power. The International Cycling Union (UCI) recently announced that the Afghan women’s road championships would be held this year in Aigle, Switzerland, as the organisation of such a competition is currently impossible in the country.