Islamabad: 32 women football players from Afghanistan have reached Pakistan with their families who were facing threats from the Taliban. According to a media report on Wednesday, this footballer reached Pakistan after the government issued an emergency humanitarian visa to evacuate him.
These players from the national junior girls’ team were to travel to Qatar as per a pre-determined schedule where Afghan refugees have been housed in a stadium for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. But she could not do so because of a bombing at Kabul airport on August 26 that killed 13 Americans and at least 170 Afghan civilians.
According to the ‘Dawn’ newspaper report, these women players were facing threats from the Taliban for playing football. According to this report, after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in August, these players had been hiding to escape from the Taliban. A UK-based non-governmental organization ‘Football for Peace’, with the help of the government and the Pakistan Football Federation (which is not affiliated with FIFA), started bringing these 32 players to Pakistan.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino met with Afghan refugees during a visit to Doha last week. But FIFA was criticized for not taking any steps to help these women footballers in Afghanistan. These women footballers will travel from Peshawar to Lahore where they will be kept at the headquarters of the Pakistan Football Federation.