From swimming to soccer, running to horse riding, Afghanistan’s new sports chief said Tuesday that the Taliban will allow 400 sports – but declined to confirm if women can play a single one.

“Please don’t ask more questions about women,” Bashir Ahmad Rustamzai told AFP, from an armchair where Afghanistan’s Olympic Committee president had sat until he fled the country last month.

Rustamzai, a heavily-built former kung fu and wrestling champion with a bushy black and white beard, was appointed by the hardline Islamist group to be Afghanistan’s director general for sports and physical education.

Once the wrestling federation chief when the Taliban were last in power, Rustamzai then worked with the Western-backed government, before falling out with them because of “their widespread corruption,” he said.

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