Tokyo 2020: UNHCR representative to bear Afghan flag at Paralympics

Afghanistan’s flag will be present at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympics on Tuesday in “a sign of solidarity” after the nation’s athletes are unable to compete in Japan.

Commercial flights in and out of Afghanistan have been suspended since the Taliban group gained control of the country last week.

As a result, Afghan athletes can not make it to Tokyo.

But the International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons said on Monday that their flag would be there at Tuesday’s opening ceremony.

“We will include the Afghanistan flag in the ceremony in a sign of solidarity and we have invited the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative here to act as the flag bearer,” Parsons said.

“We would like to have them here, unfortunately it is not possible, but they will be here in spirit.”

The portal said that two Afghan athletes had qualified for the Paralympics which run until Sept. 5.

One Afghan will however be competing, Abbas Karimi, who fled the country several years ago and is part of the refugee team at the Paralympics.


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