Zohal Bayat and Fazila Hoorzad posing with their achievements certificates – Image Courtesy: Social Media

The memberships of only two female members of Afghanistan’s National Bowling Team have been cancelled due to disregarding ‘Islamic veil’, officials at Afghanistan Bowling Federation said.

Faila Hoorzad and Zohal Bayat are the only two members of Afghanistan National Bowling whose memberships at the Afghanistan’s National Bowling Team have been cancelled by the Afghanistan Bowling Federation.

Officials at the Afghanistan Bowling Federation claim that the membership of these athletes have been cancelled because the have not regarded the Islamic Hijab while they were in Kuwait for the 25th Asian Bowling Championship.

“Serious disciplinary actions will be taken against ‘disregarding Islamic Hijab according to the Bylaws of the federation.”, Sayed Ahad Sorosh, a spokesperson for Afghanistan Bowling Federation said.

But Fazila Hoorzad one of the female players whose membership has been cancelled after she has returned from the Asian Championship games in Kuwait, calls it a ‘slander’ and an ‘accusal’.

“We fully appeared in Islamic veil during the play and attended all the official meeting and events with hijab. It is our own choice how to appear outside the official time or while we are at our own privacy.”, Fazila Hoorzad said.

Members of Afghanistan National Bowling team met Afghan Ambassador in Kuwait

The video footages and the photographs published from the 25th Asian Bowling Championship show Zohal and Fazila are in Islamic hijab.

Samira Hamidi
Regional Campaigner for Amnesty International

Samira Hamidi, an Afghan women rights activist and regional campaigner for Amnesty International considers the federation’s decision discriminatory and regards it as a clear ‘violence against women’.

“The decision made by the Afghanistan Bowling Federation is discriminatory and a clear violence against women. It is not the first time that women in Afghanistan have been deprived of their membership rights. No law or policy can limit a person’s privacy. The statement of Afghanistan Bowling Federation seems suspicious for me, they spoke of ‘violation’ but never ‘specify’ it. If such discriminations in Afghanistan’s sport section are not stopped, women will not dare to attend such environments.”, Samira told Khaama Press.

In a society where attending women in sports are regarded as a ‘taboo breaking’, women should not be victimized anymore, Samira said.

“I want the authorities to to promptly review their decision and renew the membership of these female athletes enabling them to attend domestic and international games.”, Hamidi said.


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