Female youth football players reach Pakistan


Afghanistan’s youth women’s football team players along with their families have arrived in Pakistan and will 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 family members reached Pakistan via the Torkham border. A further 34 will arrive on Thursday.


They will go to some other country after 30 days as several international organizations are working towards settling them in any 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 were not allowed to attend school and women were banned from work and education. Women were barred from sports and that is likely to continue in this government as well.