Supporting Vulnerable Female Soccer Players in Afghanistan
Link to Full Statement
Soccer Without Borders is watching the situation in Afghanistan closely, and would like to express our support for those displaced for fear of persecution, who are now seeking evacuation and safety. As an organization serving refugee youth from over 70 countries of origin, including Afghanistan, we are prepared to welcome new participants as soon as they arrive to any of our program locations, supporting refugee youth to find a sense of belonging and create new home. We recognize that there are many vulnerable individuals seeking to flee Afghanistan, and much discourse around the future of women’s rights in the country. If you are seeking to support Afghan women and girls at this juncture, we recommend the resources suggested by our friends at Futures Without Violence in this post.
As the situation in Afghanistan unfolds, the AP reported that "The football players in the Afghanistan women’s national team...now fear for their lives after the Taliban swept to regain control of the country after two decades." In 2016, Soccer Without Borders formed a partnership with the players and coaches of the Afghanistan Women’s National Soccer Team. Designed as a fiscal sponsorship, this partnership provided the team with greater autonomy over their activities, supplementing the minimal financial support they received from their Federation with sufficient funds to hold training camps, scout and recruit players, and attend regional competitions. This relationship was able to unlock over $100,000 in new investment into the team, supporting the coaches, managers, and players to execute on their vision of building women’s football in Afghanistan.
Update (August 24, 2021): Since first posting this statement, more than 70 athletes and their families have been evacuated from Afghanistan to Australia, thanks to the incredible efforts of Khalida Popal, Haley Carter, Kelly Lindsey, Allison Battisson, Nikki Dryden, Kat Craig, Craig Foster, and many other individuals as well as FIFPRO, streetfootballworld, FIFA, Human Rights Watch, and others. Here is the announcement from FIFPRO.
FOLLOW THE TEAM
ABOUT THE TEAM
NBC Bay Area