Two Afghan paralympic athletes have been stranded in Kabul, and will subsequently miss the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Following the Taliban’s seizure of Kabul, the athletes will now be unable to represent their country.
The International Paralympics Committee made the announcement on Monday, after the military group took control of the capital city on Sunday.
Due to the restrictions imposed on travel since the Taliban‘s occupation of the city, the Committee announced that there is simply ‘no way’ for the Paralympic athletes to travel to Tokyo.
The Committee stated:
Regrettably, NPC (National Paralympic Committee) Afghanistan will no longer participate in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games,” International Paralympics Committee said on Monday.
Due to the serious ongoing situation in the country, all airports are closed and there is no way for them to travel to Tokyo.
Just two Afghan athletes were due to compete in the Paralympic Games. Zakia Khudadadi was set to represent the country in Taekwondo, and Hossain Rasouli was set to represent Afghanistan as a track athlete.
The moment would have been historic for the country, given that Khudadadi would have been the first female to ever represent Afghanistan in the Paralympics.
Before the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, the 23-year-old said how she just wanted to ‘be there with the other athletes from the world’ and give the competition her best. ‘It is an opportunity to show my ability and I will be so proud to stand with all of those athletes,’ she said.
Rasouli and Khudadadi were due to arrive in Tokyo on Tuesday.
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will commence on Tuesday, August 24 and end on Sunday, September 5.
If you’d like to help those who’ve been affected by the recent devastating events unfolding in Afghanistan, you can make a donation to the UN Refugee Agency United Kingdom here.
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