Playing football became a crime in Afghanistan. I did not want to leave my country. It was my passion for playing football that forced me to leave Afghanistan.
These are the words of Swetha, a member of the Afghan women's football team, who arrived in Lahore from Afghanistan on Wednesday morning. She says she and other women like her want to play football and other sports.
Speaking to VOA, Swetha said she wanted to continue playing football as a sport and that is why she left her country for her hobby. He said the situation in Afghanistan was not good.
Swetha added that the Taliban had banned all sports, including girls' football, across Afghanistan.
“We want to play football and be good players. The situation in Afghanistan is not good yet,” he said. That is why I have decided to come to Pakistan. ”
It should be noted that the male and female players of his national football team from Afghanistan reached Lahore by buses on Wednesday morning and have been accommodated at FIFA House Lahore.
Other players from Afghanistan include Roya, who says she is safer after coming to Pakistan.
Speaking to VOA, she said she did not want other women left in Afghanistan to stay away from football.
Roya added that she just wants to play. He wants to work hard in football and become a great player. But that was not possible in Afghanistan with the Taliban.
Nafisa, the mother of a female player accompanying the female players, says her daughter wants to be a great football player. But he is not safe in Afghanistan. That is why he has made a program to come to Pakistan. According to him, his daughter is 18 years old.
Speaking to VOA, Nafisa said she knows her daughter will be happier playing football when she lives in another country and will be safer as a player there.
“My daughter and other women will be safer in any country in the world than in Afghanistan,” she said.
Pakistan's Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has welcomed Afghan women footballers to Pakistan.
In a tweet, Fawad Chaudhry said that these players have Afghan passports and Pakistani visas.
Sardar Naveed Khan, vice-president of the Pakistan Football Federation, told VOA that 117 male and female players from Afghanistan were reported to be coming to Pakistan. Out of which 79 players have arrived while two players are on their way. After their arrival, the total number of players will be 81.
He added that some of the players are accompanied by their families. All have been issued 30-day visas. He said that all the players would be taken care of and all facilities would be provided to them during their stay.
According to Sardar Naveed, the players will be allowed to play later, arrangements for which will be completed soon. Answering a question, he said it was too early to say whether the visas of these players would be extended after 30 doses.
According to the FIFA Pakistan office, emergency visas have been issued on humanitarian grounds to Afghan male and female football players who have arrived in Pakistan with their families through the Torkham border.
It should be noted that after the withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan, the Taliban government has banned women from playing all kinds of sports.