Kardashian paid more than 30 girls and their families for the flight, a total of about 130 people to the British Isles.
The Afghan youth team are among the hundreds of female athletes who have fled the country since the Taliban took power and began to restrict women’s freedom.
“Afghan football is well known in the country,” said Khalida Popal, former captain of the Afghan national team that led the evacuation of the players. “Their lives were in great danger because of people in the country who opposed their activities and wanted them to stop their sports and educational activities,” she added.
Some of the girls were beaten, their homes burned and their family members “taken” by the Taliban.
“The Taliban were aggressive. They threatened us with ‘we don’t know who you are, but if you don’t cross the border, we’ll kill you all here,'” said one of the young soccer players.
The girls managed to reach Pakistan, but needed help to find themselves in Great Britain.
“Our life was saved” – the players admitted when they received visas to the Islands.
The Tzedek Association, an American non-profit organization that previously helped the last known member of the Kabul Jewish community to leave Afghanistan, contributed to the organization of the flight. The group’s founder, Rabbi Moshe Margaretten, contacted Kim Kardashian, with whom he was working on reforming the US criminal justice system.
“Maybe an hour after this call, I got a text that Kim wanted to finance the flight,” said Margaretten.
The club Leeds United, which plays in the Premier League, also helped, and its player is Mateusz Klich.
“When I got a call asking to save the women’s junior team from Afghanistan, I didn’t know where to start,” said Andrea Radrizzani, president of Pawi.
He added that he was “proud to be part of the team that made this a reality” and “dreams that one day these players will be playing for Leeds United.”
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