Former Afghan women’s soccer captain describes ‘nightmare’ Taliban rule after escape: ‘They are traumatized’

Khaleda Popal, the former captain of the Afghan women’s soccer team, described the horrors of trying to escape Taliban rule after the entire team’s successful escape to the UK, describing the whole situation as a “nightmare”.

Afghan women’s soccer team escapes Taliban control, thanks to some strong teams

Bhopal joined “Fox and Friends First” on Thursday to discuss her role in helping players, some family members and coaches escape the war-torn country after the US exit.

“It was a nightmare that we had to drop everything and run and hide,” Bhopal explained. Some of their families were severely beaten, and the Taliban took their home[s] They were bombed, so they went through a lot. They are shocked.”

The United States withdrew its forces again in August, and despite the Taliban assuring the international community that they would govern with decency and respect for basic human rights, reports have emerged to the contrary.

US soldiers stand along the perimeter of the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday, August 16, 2021. On Monday, the focus of the US military and officials was on the Kabul airport, as thousands of Afghans trapped by the sudden Taliban takeover of the airport rushed to the airport. The runway was attached to US military aircraft deployed to evacuate the employees of the US Embassy, ​​which closed its doors on Sunday, and others.
(Associated Press/Shakib Rahmani)

“When the international community came out of Afghanistan, the first call I had with football players in Afghanistan was from female footballers, they said that our citizens betrayed us, and the world betrayed us,” Bhopal said. “Let the world fall into the hands of the enemy.”

“We have done everything we can to actively participate in the community, but we no longer have protection. The show is over,” she continued.

Since the infamous withdrawal, the Taliban have been accused of heinous acts, with a Human Rights Watch report alleging that the group deceives former Afghan security forces into revealing its identities in order to identify former government loyalists.

Taliban accused of using tricks to identify members of former security forces to kill

As a result, more than 100 people are reported to have either disappeared or been killed due to their efforts.

“It has been a nightmare for many people, especially the women of Afghanistan,” Bhopal explained.

And she continued, “When the Taliban arrived,[d]The first thing they did, they took the right to education from the people, from the women, the right to enjoy basic human rights.”


The group of 130 people managed to escape with the help of the ROKiT Foundation, Rabbi Moshe Margaretten and Kim Kardashian West, although it wasn’t an easy journey along the way.

The group first managed to escape to neighboring Pakistan, and was badly beaten along the way, and eventually Rabbi Moshe Margaretten and Kim Kardashian West teamed up to secure the team’s resettlement in Europe.

Kardashian West has chartered a plane to bring the team to the UK, where British football team Leeds is offering them positions to continue their passion for the game.

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