Credit: X

Credit: X

Founder of Afghanistan women's football team, Khalida Popal opened up about being accused of 'brainwashing women' and pushing them to play football because she considered she was against Islam. Popal has written a book called "My Beautiful Sisters" which will be published on 20 June about her experiences of leading the Afghanistan women's team both on and off the field.

With Popal taking the stance against the Taliban for allowing Afghan women to compete she was forced to leave the country forever in 2011. Since then she has received multiple death threats and initially moved to India before finding refuge in Denmark, where she had completed a degree in international marketing management.

They accused me of being against Islam:  Khalida Popal

Speaking about being her horrific life experiences in a interview with the Guardian,  Khalida Popal said,  "They tried to silence me. I faced many challenges, such as death threats. They always followed me and threatened me. There was a time when I saw an armed man approaching the car I was in, so I am grateful for the traffic in Kabul. For Traffic usually frustrated me, but that time it saved my life when I managed to jump out of the car, run as fast as I could and hide." 

"I was lucky to have survived. The situation got worse and the police wanted to arrest me. It was very dangerous for me and my family. I put them in a really horrible situation because it is very dangerous to provoke people in an Islamic country. It won't take long for them to be stoned or shot. They accused me of being against Islam and of wanting to brainwash women into playing football," she added. 

They ignored, being knowledgeable:  Khalida Popal on FIFA

Popal also spoke about receiving no support from Gianni Infantino and FIFA as they haven't responded to any of their complaints. She said,  "Unfortunately not. We have sent emails, complaints... FIFA is telling the Taliban: 'You can do anything. We will support you.' By remaining silent You're supporting them, right?" "They ignored, being knowledgeable, the sexual abuse to which our soccer players were being subjected."