Afghan women's football team in 'unsure' situation: captain

Afghan women's football team in 'very unsure' situation after evacuation: captain Mobarez
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Afghanistan women's football captain Shabnam Mobarez explained the squad are 'trying to get used to this whole normal new life' after being evacuated to Australia.
Afghan women footballers were among those evacuated by Australia [LSIS Ronnie Baltoft/Australian DoD/Getty-file photo]

The Afghanistan women's football team are uncertain about their future after evacuating to Australia following the Taliban takeover in August, captain Shabnam Mobarez said on Tuesday.

Australia evacuated more than 50 Afghan women football players, athletes and their dependents after the Taliban seized control of the capital, Kabul, on 15 August.

Mobarez, who lives in the United States, said the evacuated Afghan players were receiving good care in Australia, but were still confused about their future.

"It is very unsure, the situation they are in right now," Mobarez told Sky Sports. "It was a traumatising experience getting out. Now they are trying to get used to this whole normal new life.

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"I am sure they are very confused and in shock because they left family and friends behind."

During their previous period of rule from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban severely curtailed women's rights, including banning them from education and work.

Last month, a senior Taliban official told Australia's SBS News women would not be allowed to play cricket, a popular sport in Afghanistan - or possibly any other - as it was "not necessary" and their bodies might be exposed.

Mobarez said the Taliban takeover had put the future of women's football at risk.

"The team has been through so many terrifying experiences in the past as well," she said. "It has never been easy for an Afghan female to be an athlete in Afghanistan. It's just a fact.

"It just breaks my heart that they were fighting through so many small battles, now it's almost like the game is over. Even if they get out of their houses, it is going to be dangerous and they can potentially get killed."

(Reuters)