Afghanistan women’s team and officials flee to Australia to escape from Taliban

Players from Afghanistan women’s national soccer team had an “important victory” on Tuesday when they were among a group of more than 75 people evacuated on a flight from Kabul. As per reports, over 75 women of the Afghanistan National Women’s Football Team, including players, officials and family members have have managed to escape from the Taliban to seek refuge in Australia.

Global soccer players’ union Fifpro, was in talks with governments of different countries for a safe evacuation of the players. “We are relieved that this group of footballers and athletes have been able to leave Afghanistan today,” FIFPRO Secretary General Jonass Baer Hoffmann expressed. FIFPRO thanked the Australian government for making the evacuation of players, team officials and family members possible, with work continuing to help more leave Afghanistan. Women athletes have become one of the most vulnerable populations in Afghanistan since the Taliban seized Kabul earlier this month. It is a significant victory for those associated with the women’s team — including former coaches Kelly Lindsey and Haley Carter, and founder Khalida Popal — who have worked around the clock to try to help players escape. The Afghan team was created in 2007 in a country where women playing sport was seen as a political act of defiance against the Taliban. Players had been advised this month to delete social media posts and photographs of them with the team to help avoid reprisals since the United States-backed Afghanistan government fell.