Afghanistan: Sport bodies call for emergency evacuation of female players

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In 2007, the first Afghan women's football team was established

Fifa, the world's governing body of football, has requested that all countries send an emergency request to evacuate female Afghan players.

According to reports, players fear for their safety after the Taliban takeover of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.

Fifpro, the Players' Organization, is also looking for assistance.

External-link The union stated that it was working with government to create an evacuation plan. It added: "The goal is to get as many people as possible to safety."

Fifa stated that the Afghan situation "remains unstable, very worrying."

Khalida Popal, a former captain of Afghanistan's women's national team, pleaded for sporting bodies to "help our players safety" as she is concerned about the fate of those who have been left behind by the Taliban.

Since the takeover, many of the country's female players have been forced to hide.

Popal was instrumental in the formation of Afghanistan's first women's football team.

The Taliban had a previous rule that prohibited girls from receiving any type of education during their 20-year reign.

Women couldn't leave their home without a male relative and were therefore forbidden from working. They were required to wear an all-covering burqa. They were often punished and beat for challenging them.

Haley Carter, former assistant coach for the Afghan women's soccer team, was among those who were in touch with many players hiding in hiding.

Carter stated that if anyone discovers they are talking to someone outside, it is even more dangerous for their lives." Carter spoke out for BBC World Service Sport.

A US Marines veteran claimed she received a message from a player saying that they were going to kill her. They don't want women to play football, and they're putting us at risk.

Carter advised players hiding in hiding to "stay intelligent, stay safe, and be patient", joining Popal in urging sporting bodies to protect the most vulnerable.

Fifa spokesperson stated that they are still in touch with the Afghanistan Football Federation and other stakeholders and continue to receive updates about the situation from the players.