Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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Afghan Women, Eager to Play, Are Relegated to the Sidelines

AAN < 1 min

New York Times, 26 April 2016

“Women’s sports programs in Afghanistan, long a favorite of Western donors, have all but collapsed”, writes Rod Nordland in his hair-raising story. “With few exceptions, the sports programs have become riddled with corruption and been undermined by conservative Afghans who have never liked the idea of young women on sports fields.”

“While all women’s sports here are suffering, none have failed quite as spectacularly as the women’s national cycling team. Celebrated in documentaries, and the subject of a 2014 book and a blizzard of news articles, the team was recently nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize — thanks to the tireless promotion of its benefactor, Shannon Galpin, who financed the team through her Colorado-based charity, Mountain to Mountain.

However, Ms. Galpin announced on her web page last month that she would no longer support the Afghan Cycling Federation because of what she described as “out of control” corruption by the team’s longtime coach and the head of the federation, Haji Abdul Sediq Seddiqi.”