Kim Kardashian and Leeds United help Afghan women's football team who escaped Taliban 2 weeks ago

Kim Kardashian and Leeds United help Afghan women's football team who escaped Taliban

What an amazing gesture from both parties

Kim Kardashian and Leeds United have helped an Afghan junior women's football team arrive safely in the UK after fleeing the Taliban.

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Kardashian paid for a flight that brought around 130 people - including 30 teenage girls and their families - to England.

After the Taliban took control in Afghanistan and began to reduce women's freedoms, the players in Afghanistan's women's youth development team and a host of others female athletes left the country.

Khalida Popal, a former captain of Afghanistan's national women's team, has played a significant role in the evacuation efforts. She said:

"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."

Popal, and the players, added that some of the girls had been beaten, while also having their houses burnt down and family members "taken" by the Taliban.

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'Kim Kardashian wanted to fund the entire flight'

Although the girls made it to Pakistan, they needed additional help getting to Britain.

Tzedek Association - a non-profit US group that previously helped the last known member of Kabul's Jewish community leave Afghanistan - stepped in to organise the flight for the girls.

Rabbi Moshe Margaretten, the group's founder, contacted Ms Kardashian, having worked with her on criminal justice reform in the US.

"Maybe an hour later, after the Zoom call, I got a text message that Kim wants to fund the entire flight," said Mr Margaretten.

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On receiving their visas to the UK, teammates Narges and Sabria stated: "Our lives have been saved and we are eternally grateful to all."

Leeds United get involved

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After the players arrived in the UK, Leeds United offered to support the players, with many of them coming from poor families in the country's provinces.

Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani said: "When I received a call asking (for) help to rescue the youth women's team from Afghanistan, I didn't know even from where to start.

He said he was "proud to be part of the team to make this real," adding, "let's dream one day they will play in Leeds United."

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Radrizzani tweeted on Thursday: "We are delighted the Afghan Women and Girls Development Football Team and their families led by the brave former captain Khalida Popal have landed safely in the UK, following extensive efforts by a number of partners.

"We are honoured to have played our part and are grateful that the UK government has enabled their resettlement in the UK.

"This demonstrates the power of football, and sport in general, as a force for good and shows how the football community is able to collaborate and mobilise to save lives.

"Through Play for Change Charitable Trust and Leeds United we stand ready to support the girls and their families in building an inclusive and prosperous future. We can't wait to see them playing football again."

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