Afghan female footballers and families to be resettled in the UK

·1-min read

Dozens of Afghan girl footballers and their families have been told they will be resettled in the UK.

The group of 135 girls and young women, their families and coaches, are in Lahore after they were helped by a British aid group to escape the Taliban, who threatened to kill them for playing sport.

As the Standard reported on Wednesday, the girls risked being returned to Afghanistan when their humanitarian visas for Pakistan run out next Tuesday.

However, the government have now confirmed that they are finalising their visas so they can live in the UK permanently.

“We are working to finalise visas to the Afghan Women’s Development Team and look forward to welcoming them to the UK shortly,” a UK government spokesman said.

Leeds United and Chelsea are among the organisations that have promised to support the families.

Sui-Anne Marie Gill, CEO of the ROKiT Foundation who supported their escape from Afghanistan, welcomed the news

“This is fantastic news, and we are most grateful to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel for this life-saving decision,” said Siu-Anne Marie Gill, CEO of the ROKiT Foundation, which supported their escape from Afghanistan.

“Like football, it has been a team effort where every player has had a vital role.

“These young sportswomen and their families are so thrilled to have been given a second chance in life, here in the home of football. The next step is to settle them into their new home. We will do all we can to support them in this process, and the communities that welcome them.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel was said to have studied their girls’ cases urgently in order to grant them sanctuary in the UK.

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