For many Afghans, women just aren’t meant to play sports at all. Khalida Popal, captain of the women’s soccer team, receives threatening text messages from those who say she must stop shaming her society. But she’s persevered, in the face of her family telling her to stop playing for her own safety. (In other words, you will be ‘honor’ killed if you continue)
CNNIt is rare that you see a football match interrupted by a military helicopter landing. But that is what the Afghan women’s football team, a group of remarkably hardened and brave soccer enthusiasts, regularly face. That’s after the death threats, the parental disapproval and the ostracizing. This fight – to play the game she loves – has been incredibly tough for Khalida. When her parents told her to stop, she could no longer see the point of living. “When my family stopped me to play football, when they said, ‘No, just stop playing football,’ I tried suicide.” But she survived.