Players from the Afghan national girls teams, their coaches and their families have arrived in Pakistan. The group, which consists of about 80 people, was hosted by the Pakistani Football Association in Lahore. The players were part of the under 14, under 16, and under 18 teams.
The group first tried to get away from Kabul Airport. The bombing, at the end of last month, forced them to come up with a different route. Yesterday they managed to reach the border with neighbouring Pakistan by land.
Call to Prime Minister
The British news site The Independent wrote yesterday that a former Pakistani mens team player had appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan. In a letter he asked the Pakistani Prime Minister for temporary visas.
“These young female athletes are in great danger because they play football and competed in tournaments in public,” he wrote. The Taliban would have been looking for them, including hotels.
This Afghan-Swedish football coach got some cries of emergency from the girls:
Under the previous Taliban regime (1996-2001), work, education and sports for women and girls were strictly prohibited. In sports, this seems to be no different under the new regime. “Islam and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan do not allow women to publicly conduct cricket or any other sport,” a Taliban spokesperson previously told an Australian TV channel.
Many Afghan women who have played football or football have fled the Taliban takeover of power. A former national team captain advised players to burn their football gear and stop social media.