The FIFA logo can be seen in front of their headquarters on a foggy autumn day in Zurich, Switzerland, November 18, 2020. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann

August 27 (Reuters) – After the Taliban came to power, the world football association FIFA is negotiating the “extremely challenging” evacuation of football players and other athletes from Afghanistan.

Islamic State suicide bombers killed dozen civilians and at least 13 US soldiers on Thursday and struck Kabul airport, where thousands of people tried to flee after the seizure of power.

Last week, Afghan national soccer player Zaki Anwari died in a fall from a US plane at Kabul airport as crowds of people trying to flee Afghanistan rushed into the airport since Taliban insurgents hit the capital on August 15 Power came.

“The FIFA President and FIFA Secretary General are closely monitoring the situation and working tirelessly with governments and relevant organizations to get those at risk out of Afghanistan,” a FIFA spokesman said in a statement on Thursday.

“The leadership of FIFA is personally involved in the negotiations on the complex evacuation of footballers and other athletes,” it said. “This is an extremely challenging environment.”

Earlier this week, Australia evacuated more than 50 Afghan women athletes and their families after lobbying prominent figures in the sports world, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported.

FIFPRO, the global association of professional football players, said it was also heavily involved in the effort to get the athletes out and appreciated the efforts of the Australian government. Continue reading

Former Afghan women’s soccer team captain Khalida Popal has urged players to erase social media, erase public identities and burn their jerseys for security reasons now that the country is once again ruled by the Taliban, who are strict on women’s behavior restricted during her reign 1996-2001. Continue reading

Popal told Reuters in a video interview that militants in the past had killed, raped and stoned women and that female soccer players feared what the future might bring.

Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Adaptation by William Mallard

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