The British government is hosting 35 players from the Afghan women’s team and their families who have left their country for Pakistan
France Press agency
The British government announced, on Monday, that it will receive 35 players from the Afghan women’s team and their families, who left their country for Pakistan feeling threatened by the Taliban’s return to power.
“We are working to finalize visas for the Afghan women’s football team and look forward to welcoming them to the UK soon,” a government spokesperson said on Monday.
The teenage girls and their families, the 130 who fled to Pakistan after the Taliban seized power in August, are at risk of being sent home at the end of their 30-day temporary visas.
In Afghanistan, young female players will find themselves “in a very dangerous situation, putting their lives at risk” as the Taliban prevent girls from playing soccer, according to the ROKiT Foundation, which helped them escape.
A Downing Street spokesman said the British government was “committed to doing all it can to help those who need it most, particularly women and girls at risk, those in distress and those forced to flee Afghanistan”.
However, the executive branch has not specified the nature or duration of visas granted to young footballers and their families.
ROKiT said in a statement that it will travel “in the next two weeks to the UK”.
Managing Director, Seo Ann Marie Gill, praised the “teamwork” of the various parties involved in evacuating and receiving the players, “delighted and relieved” of “the opportunities that their new life in the UK will offer them”.
English club Leeds United was one of the organizations that asked the government to grant asylum to footballers.
His boss, Andrea Radrizzani, last month offered to welcome players into his youth teams, claiming he was ready to “give these girls a prosperous and peaceful future”.
The UK evacuated more than 15,000 people from Kabul in the two weeks following the Taliban’s return to power in mid-August. Among them, about 8,600 Afghans worked for the British.
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