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‘I'm free however my thoughts isn't’: ladies from Afghan...
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‘I’m free however my thoughts isn’t’: ladies from Afghan youth soccer group worry for relations left in Afghanistan

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Ladies from the Afghan youth soccer group are fearing for the protection of the shut relations they had been compelled to go away behind when not too long ago fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan.

It comes after The Unbiased revealed the inside story of the football players’ escape from Afghanistan – with the ladies giving unique interviews in early December revealing how they had been overwhelmed and threatened with demise for enjoying soccer.

Recounting their prolonged and harrowing journey to security within the UK, the Afghan nationwide youth improvement group mentioned they suffered months of struggling after the Taliban seized management of their homeland, together with beatings that left them “screaming”.

Talking to The Unbiased in unique interviews, the soccer gamers, who’ve been within the UK since mid-November, mentioned they’re hopeful about their futures within the UK however are consumed with terror about family members who stay trapped in Afghanistan.

The Taliban has launched a grave crackdown on ladies’s fundamental rights since seizing energy of the Afghan capital Kabul in mid-August because the US and British forces withdrew. The hardline Islamist group has blocked ladies from the office and secondary schooling, in addition to barring ladies from collaborating in all sports activities.

Sweeta Afghan, a 28-year-old soccer participant, mentioned she is lacking her household and is petrified for his or her security.

The athlete, who’s head of ladies’s soccer committee in Balkh Province, added: “I’ve my sister and brother again in Afghanistan the place I’m so apprehensive for them. I can’t be blissful and really feel freedom realizing that my brother and sister reside beneath the specter of the Taliban.

“The Taliban is chasing my household again in Afghanistan because of my lively participation in soccer. Everybody in our space knew I used to be a footballer.

Sweeta Afghan, a 28-year-old soccer participant, at Leeds United’s stadium, Elland Highway

(Afghan Youth Improvement Crew)

“As we speak, I’m free, however my thoughts and mind are usually not free. I don’t really feel freedom realizing my household reside beneath the specter of the Taliban.”

Ms Afghan famous her mom and father had been separated from the remainder of the household and have gone to Albania the place they’re dwelling in a refugee camp.

She defined she helped develop ladies’s soccer within the north of Afghanistan – including that she has inspired many Afghan ladies to take up sport.

“As a consequence of my activism via sports activities, I managed to get greater than 300 plus to affix sports activities within the area that suppressed ladies,” she mentioned. “I established my very own affiliation by the identify of Afghan Fighter Ladies. This affiliation was empowering ladies and ladies.”

Asma Hedayaty, a 19-year-old soccer participant, at Elland Highway

( Afghan Youth Improvement Crew)

Ms Afghan, who persuaded households to let their daughters participate in sports activities whereas in Afghanistan, mentioned she a lot prefers the UK to her Taliban-seized homeland as she has the liberty to play soccer and may pursue her “desires and objectives”.

She added: “We will play soccer and have an schooling. In Afghanistan, as a lady, we couldn’t obtain our objectives and desires.”

“In 2022, I hope to have an excellent 12 months. A 12 months of achievements, a 12 months that I can study English as quickly as attainable to have the ability to examine, work, and develop my soccer expertise and get my teaching licence.

“I hope to discover a technique to get my household to the UK as properly.”

The Independent revealed in early September that the youth soccer group had been stranded in Afghanistan, after which later within the month that Pakistan would allow them to enter the country on temporary visas.



I’m lacking my members of the family. My mum, my dad, my sisters. I’m depressed desirous about them. It’s making me cry on a regular basis.

Asma Hedayaty

A letter from the embassy of Pakistan, beforehand seen by The Unbiased, mentioned it could grant momentary visas to the ladies who had been stranded within the neighbouring nation.

Asma Hedayaty, a 19-year-old teammate of Ms Afghan, mentioned she is significantly lacking her mom, father and sisters who’re presently trapped in Afghanistan.

She mentioned: “I’m lacking my members of the family. My mum, my dad, my sisters. I’m depressed desirous about them. It’s making me cry on a regular basis. At evening, I’ve nightmares that the Taliban has discovered them, I get up in tears and worry.

“It’s unhappy to not be happy and blissful realizing that half of the household is again dwelling within the fingers of the enemy. I hope to see my household right here. To get them right here so I can really feel freedom and happiness.”

Khalida Popal, the previous Afghanistan ladies’s group captain – who was compelled to flee Afghanistan in 2011 as a result of serving to arrange the nationwide ladies’s soccer group had put her life in peril – performed a key position in serving to the younger gamers escape the Taliban.

The soccer group, who’re already taking part in within the UK, are being helped by the Leeds United chairman, Andrea Radrizzani, and Kashif Siddiqi, a London-born footballer who performed for Pakistan’s worldwide group.

The final time the Taliban dominated Afghanistan ladies had been barred from working, ladies had been blocked from going to high school, and girls needed to be chaperoned by a male family member in the event that they wished to go away the home.

Ms Hedayaty mentioned whereas she doesn’t know an ideal deal about Britain, she likes the nation ”thus far”, however famous that the climate is a little bit “miserable”.

“I hope 2022 shall be a 12 months filled with achievements and success, the place I study the language, develop my soccer expertise, and get my households paperwork finished so I can carry them right here,” she mentioned.

Source: The Unbiased

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