FIFA in association with the Qatari government has rescued some 57 female football and basketball athletes from being seized by the Taliban* Afghanistan,
The group of athletes, mainly females competing in football and other sport disciplines, landed in the Qatari capital, Doha on Wednesday. Nineteen athletes who escaped from the seized country were part of the national female basketball team.
The flight from the Kabul national airport took place at night with also some female referees and coaches aboard.
Doha’s authorities have provided housing for the freed athletes as the temporary shelter has been reserved for the following World Cup in Qatar. While there, the escaped females search for refugee status in other countries. The countries in which the athletes may potentially gain such a status are being pushed to start acting.
The evacuations were followed by the recent one conducted by FIFA when there were 20 female football players among 100 refugees, who had fled from the Taliban-ravaging country. The aircraft that welcomed 100 of the refugees also landed in Doha last Thursday.
Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA, speaking upon evacuations said: “We would like to express our sincere thanks to both the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, for helping us with this humanitarian mission.”
Infantino also appealed to “our friends in governments” and to the football community across the world to help the escaped athletes to possess all the required documents and visas to start a new life in safety.
A row of evacuations is still taking place as numerous Afghani residents are afraid of their lives as it is still unclear what to expect of the Taliban insurgents that came into power illicitly when the Afghani authorities had
Taliban follow the strict interpretation of Sharia law, thus banning females from participating in any sport as well as prohibiting them to work or get an education.
*Taliban is a terror organization banned in the US, Russia, and many other countries.