FIFA says it helped evacuate 100 players and their families from Afghanistan


Players of the Afghan national women’s football team stand near Belem Tower in Lisbon, Portugal on September 29, 2021. REUTERS / Rodrigo Antunes

October 15 (Reuters) – World football’s governing body FIFA said on Friday it had worked with the Qatari government to evacuate nearly 100 football players and their families from Afghanistan.

The Taliban took control of the Afghan capital Kabul on August 15 and announced a new government last month after the withdrawal of US-led foreign forces and the collapse of the West-backed government.

Qatar’s Deputy Foreign Minister Lolwah Alkhater said the players and their families were among the passengers on a flight from Kabul on Thursday.

FIFA said in a declaration that the group, which included female players, was considered “most at risk”. He thanked Qatar for their support and for “ensuring the safe passage” of players and families.

“FIFA management has been coordinating closely with the Qatari government since August the evacuation of the group and will continue to work closely on the safe evacuation of other members of the sporting family in the future,” a- he added.

The world’s cycling governing body, UCI, said on Monday it had helped evacuate 165 refugees from Afghanistan, including women cyclists, journalists and human rights activists.

The president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, said last month that the organization had helped around 100 members of the “Olympic community” in Afghanistan to leave the country on humanitarian visas.

Australia evacuated more than 50 Afghan athletes and their dependents in August, while several players from the Afghan national women’s football team were granted asylum in Portugal last month.

Report by Manasi Pathak in Bangalore; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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