Afghan women’s football team managed to flee the Taliban

Afghan women’s football team managed to flee the Taliban

Afghan women’s football team managed to flee the Taliban

Picture of Women’s football team


The incident at Kabul airport was full of chaos and despair. People fled in fear during the shooting. Thousands of people, including the football team and others tried to escape the Taliban.

Raised in a completely different Afghanistan, Fati is a fluent English speaker while watching series and movies. To protect the family’s identity, his name and age are hidden.

When the Taliban quickly took control of the country in August 2021, the party decided that he and his international teammates must leave their homeland and their loved ones. Over the years, they have played together, and the Afghan national football team has given women more opportunities and freedom. The focus is now on the open freedom of punishment and oppression that characterized the former Taliban regime from 1996 to 2001. The party said the return of the Taliban was impossible. His anxiety soon turned into despair and fear. He had to get out.

Read more: Pakistan women team qualifies for 2022 Commonwealth Games

“I accept the end of Afghanistan,” he said. “I did not think I had the chance to live, I did not have the chance to return and fight for my rights, for my school, for the media, for athletes, etc. I was like a corpse at home.


“I have not slept for two weeks. I called everyone 24 hours a day. I work constantly day and night, sending messages and browsing social networks. ”

Fati and her colleagues have found a way out of this problem. They were helped by the Invisible International Women’s Network, which began a journey to safety.

This is their escape story. It begins 12,700 miles from Houston, Texas, where a 37-year-old former U.S. sailor is scheduled to be evacuated.

“WhatsApp was like a small virtual surgery center exhausted,” said Hailey Carter. “Don’t underestimate the power of women with smartphones.”

Read more: Pakistan women team to start T20 World Cup campaign today


Carter, 37, was also a goalkeeper. After serving in the Iraqi army, he played three seasons for the Houston Dash of the NWSL team before becoming a coach. From 2016 to 2018 he coached the Afghan national team.

Although the United States is thousands of miles away, it has shared information about the rapidly changing situation in Kabul with the Marine Corps and the National Security Forces through encrypted messaging applications such as WhatsApp and Signal. The operation was dubbed “Digital Dunkirk”.

“In normal warfare, such information is not shared. But it was an evacuation, “Carter said.

“It simply came to our notice then. It was crazy. It was wild and I’ll see you again. ”
At the same time, Carter planned to evacuate them by military aircraft as soon as possible. He noted that security in the Afghan capital was becoming increasingly dangerous. He strongly believed that the US and British governments had misused the situation. The Taliban set up checkpoints.

Carter told Fatih that “there will be a guy at the north gate.”


“You have to go there at the right time and write down the password that I will give you,” he said. He will understand and there will be no questions and you will enter. ”

The figure is named after the naval hero of World War II, John Basilon, and several different symbols were combined on November 10, 1775, the day the naval corps was founded.

“I heard the Marines were looking for him at the gates,” Carter said. “The Navy knows that another sailor ordered them to wear this sign.”

However, Fatih and his party were rejected at the northern gate. No messages received. “I tried to show you this code, but the soldier refused and said, ‘What team are you on? Who are you?” the party says “If you have an American passport, you are allowed to enter, but there is no other option,” he said.

In Houston, Carter had to rearrange his plans.

He said, “I was at work at the time, so my heart ached.” “Good. No problem. Give the people at the gate time to talk to them again so they know if you’re coming.


“I think he was depressed, right. I’m not stressed. Because when he is stressed, that stress is transferred to him. ”

Fati and the rest of the players can wait.

“I think it’s been 48 hours since I left the airport,” he said. “The weather was too hot and there was no air, and the children around were crying, saying, ‘Let’s go home, I don’t want to die.’ They shouted whenever they heard gunshots.

“There were many eyes looking at me to find something, a way.”

Fati decided that he and the players would try again, this time at the South Gate. There were two Taliban checkpoints along the way.

At first, I lost my brother and beat him. Second, he was pushed back, kicked and beaten by gunmen.


With the weight of responsibility on his shoulders, the weight of his body, the heat and the weight of the gun, he felt that it was all over. He wanted to give up.

Then he remembered Popal’s message. “If you fight, you will survive.”

“It was to lighten the darkness,” says Fati. Suddenly something told me to wake up, so I started again. It was a lesson I had to take for the rest of my life. There is always hope and there is always an open door. ”

The players reunited. Suddenly, Taliban guards saw them and fled to the Australians at the southern entrance of the airport.

“It was crowded, but we passed the last checkpoint,” the party said. I saw Australian soldiers shouting words like “National Player”, “Australia” and “Football”.

We checked our documents and passed, “he said. When Fatih, his teammates and several Afghan Paralympic athletes boarded the C-130 military transport in Australia, he sent photos and messages to Carter. ‘it’s over. ‘was made.


C-130 is a carrier of useless equipment and troops for the battlefield, the girls deployed in the warehouse trying to sleep comfortably on each other’s shoulders. So there was not a last look where the house was always on the window.

“The plane had just taken off and there was noise and fear. “I look around and see only scared faces.”

“I thought you would never see this beautiful place where you grew up with memories. This is the last time. “

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