Afghan soccer players flown to UK with Kim's help
Members of Afghanistan's women's youth development soccer team arrived in Britain early on November 18 after being flown from Pakistan with the help of a New York rabbi, a UK soccer club and Kim Kardashian.
A plane carrying more than 30 teenage players and their families, about 130 people in all, landed at Stansted Airport near London. The Afghans will spend 10 days in Coronavirus quarantine before starting new lives in Britain.
'English Premier League' club 'Leeds United' has offered to support the players.
Britain and other countries evacuated thousands of Afghans in a rushed airlift as Kabul fell to Taliban militants in August. Many more people have since left overland for neighbouring countries in hopes of travelling on to the West.
Women playing sports was seen as a political act of defiance against the Taliban and hundreds of female athletes have left Afghanistan since the group returned to power.
"The Afghan female footballers are well-known figures in the country. Their lives were in great danger because of people in the country who opposed their activism and wanted to stop their sport and educational activities," said Khalida Popal, a former captain of Afghanistan's national women's team who has spearheaded evacuation efforts for female athletes.
Australia evacuated the members of Afghanistan's national women's soccer team and the youth girls' team was resettled in Portugal.
The team got help from the 'Tzedek Association', a nonprofit US group that previously helped the last known member of Kabul's Jewish community leave Afghanistan.
The group's founder, Rabbi Moshe Margaretten, has worked with reality TV star Kardashian on criminal justice reform in the US. He reached out to her to help pay for a chartered plane to the UK.
"Maybe an hour later, after the 'Zoom' call, I got a text message that Kim
wants to fund the entire flight," Margaretten said.