Female athletes from Afghanistan leave Kabul after being granted Australian visas

• Group of 77 included Afghanistan women’s football team

• Players suffered beatings and had to pass Taliban checkpoints

A group of 77 Afghani athletes and family members, including members of the Afghanistan women’s national football team, youth team and women’s football officials have left Kabul airport on a plane bound for Australia but there is still a long way to go to ensuring the safety of many female athletes still at risk in the country.

In a furious 10-day period the players’ union Fifpro, a team of human rights lawyers and other NGOs worked around the clock with former team coaches Kelly Lindsey and Haley Carter and team founder and former captain Khalida Popal pursuing every avenue available to get them on evacuation lists, secure the players visas and get into the airport perimeter. They are continuing their efforts to ensure the safety of more athletes.

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Former Afghan football president’s life ban for abusing female players upheld
  • Karim banned by Fifa after female players reported abuse
  • Court of arbitration for sport confirms punishment

The court of arbitration for sport (Cas) has dismissed the appeal of Keramuudin Karim, a former president of the Afghanistan Football Federation, against his lifetime ban from football.

Karim was given the ban and fined 1 million Swiss francs by the Fifa ethics committee for breaching its code after players came forward to the Guardian in November 2018 to expose sexual, physical and emotional abuses of members of the Afghanistan Women’s team.

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