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ICYMI: Afghan women footballers fleeing Taliban, find refuge in Australia

ICYMI: Afghan women footballers fleeing Taliban, find refuge in Australia
August 25
17:57 2021

The Australian government has evacuated over 50 women footballers, athletes, and their families from Afghanistan following pleas from the International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPro).

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The evacuation became necessary after the Taliban seized control of the capital, Kabul, on August 15.

In the previous reign of the group in the late-1990s, girls were prevented from attending schools after the age of 10, while many were forced into child marriage.

Under the regime, which ended in 2001 after a military invasion spearheaded by the US armed forces, women could not leave home alone and were forced to cover themselves.

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The nation’s football team was also created in 2007 in a country where women playing sport was seen as a political act of defiance against the Taliban.

However, more than 50 female athletes have been saved from reliving the ordeal, according to a statement by FIFpro on Tuesday.

In the statement, FIFpro thanked the Australian government for coming to the aid of the beleaguered women.

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It also pleaded with the international community to help settle the athletes.

“We are grateful to the Australian government for evacuating a large number of women footballers and athletes from Afghanistan,” the statement read.

“These young women, both as athletes and activists, have been in a position of danger and on behalf of their peers around the world, we thank the international community for coming to their aid.

“There remains much work to do to support and settle these young women, and we urge the international community to make sure that they receive all the help they need. There are also many athletes still at risk in Afghanistan, and every effort should be made to offer them support.”

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