‘This is our final’: the team who led athletes’ escape from Afghanistan


Khalida Popal, former captain of the Afghanistan women’s team
“‘We have been working like fingers on one hand, with different roles, and we came together as a big strong punch,’ says the former captain and one of the founders of the Afghanistan women’s national football team, Khalida Popal. She is talking about the small team that pulled off the mission to evacuate 100-200 Afghan athletes and a number of individuals connected to them from the Hamid Karzai international airport in Kabul. Across a two-week period those fingers worked tirelessly around the clock and across numerous time zones, tracking the real-time movements of the Taliban and military personnel on the ground to pull off what seemed completely impossible: to get a group of female football players, many teenagers, and a host of others, including family members, into the airport and on to planes. Who is this motley, but multitalented, crew and how did they manage to get so many out where many more failed? This is their story. …”
Guardian

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