Parsons on Afghan Parathletes: “There is no safe way to bring them to Tokyo”



Tokyo, Aug 19 (EFE) .- The president of the International Paralympic Committee (ICC), Andrew Parsons, said today that the organization does not have the means to safely bring Afghan parathletes to Tokyo, where the Games will begin next week .

“We are analyzing the situation and at the moment we do not have a safe way to bring Afghan athletes to Tokyo while preserving their safety,” Parsons told the media from Tokyo on Thursday, where he is for the opening of the event on the 24th.

The Paralympic Games were to have the presence of two athletes from Afghanistan, the athlete Hossain Rasouli and the taekwondo player Zakia Khudadadi, the first female representative of her country in a Paralympics, a now difficult journey after the takeover of the Taliban and the chaos for leaving the country suffering Kabul.

Parsons’ statements are in line with what was said this Monday by the executive director of Tokyo 2020, Toshiro Muto, who then pointed out that the Afghan Paralympic delegation “is not in a position to participate” in the Games because “the tense situation” in its country makes their travel to Japan “unfeasible.”

“This will go down in history, how the world simply watched the news but did not help the Paralympic athletes of Afghanistan,” said the head of the mission of that country in the Paralympics, Arian Sadiqi, in statements collected by the local agency. of Kyodo news.

Sadiqi also emphasized the athletes’ desire to compete in Tokyo and the need to find a way to get them out of the country, and was “very disappointed” by the performance of the international community to support them.

For her part, the Afghan parathlete Khudadadi released a video this week online in which she affirms that she is “locked up” in the home of relatives in Kabul, the country’s capital.

“My intention is to participate in the Paralympics, please take my hand and help me (…). Do not allow the rights of an Afghan citizen in the Paralympic movement to be taken away so easily, ”the athlete begs during the footage.

Spain has received a request for the evacuation of this Afghan athlete, sources from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported on Wednesday, to be included in the evacuation list and be able to leave the country.

Kabul, the Afghan capital, has fallen to the Taliban after their rapid advance across the country and the flight of President Ashraf Ghani, declaring victory after 20 years of war against the government established by the United States and its allies.

The Muslim fundamentalist group has signaled its intention to form a new government and establish renewed international relations.

Kabul airport is closed to commercial flights and is in a chaotic situation. Thousands of people have been displaced there trying to flee the country.

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