Taliban threaten Afghan female football team

Dawn reported that female footballers from Afghanistan crossed the Torkham border with their families to reach Pakistan Tuesday night, after their country issued them emergency humanitarian visas in order to evacuate their country from the Taliban takeover.

Due to their participation in sports, the Taliban threatened the footballers of the national junior girls soccer team. The girls were originally supposed to travel to Qatar to meet with Afghan refugees. However, they were left behind by a bomb explosion at Kabul’s airport on August 26 Dawn reported.

The majority of the Afghan women’s national team had already flown out during the last week in August, thanks to an arrangement with Australia. However, the youth team could not get flights as they did not have passports or other documentation. Since then, they had been hiding in order to evade Taliban.

British-based NGO Football for Peace, in collaboration with the government and the Pakistan Football Federation Ashfaq Hussain Khan, was instrumental in bringing the 32 footballers to Pakistan.

Gianni Infantino, FIFA president, had visited Afghan refugees last week during his visit to Doha. However, the global football body has been criticized for failing to help female footballers still in Afghanistan.

Dawn was told Tuesday night by Sardar Naveed Haider Khan (Pakistan ambassador to Football for Peace), that the group had launched their efforts a few weeks back.