Afghanistan’s youth women’s football team players alongside their families have arrived in Pakistan and can seek political asylum in third countries amid concern over the status of female athletes under the new Taliban government in Kabul.
Some 81 people, including female players of several youth teams, their coaches, and relations reached Pakistan via the Torkham border. an extra 34 will arrive on Thursday.
“They will attend another country after 30 days as several international organizations are working towards settling them in the other country, including the UK, US, and Australia,” said Umar Zia, a senior Pakistan Football Federation official.
The said team will stay at FIFA House, situated inside Gaddafi Sports Complex in Lahore.
Several former and current women football players fled the country following the Taliban takeover, while a former captain of the team urged players still in Afghanistan to burn their sports gear and delete their social media accounts to avoid reprisals.
When the Islamist group last ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, girls weren’t allowed to attend school, and girls were banned from work and education. Women were barred from sports which is probably going to continue during this government also.