A well-known rabbi in New York has partnered with Kim Kardashian West and a U.K. soccer club to bring to the United Kingdom the members of Afghanistan’s women’s youth development soccer team.
The soccer team made up of more than 30 teenage players and their families, about 130 people in all, landed at Stansted Airport near London early Thursday with the help of NY Rabbi Moshe Margarette and English Premier League club Leeds United.
Sources said the soccer team and their families will spend 10 days in coronavirus quarantine before starting new lives in Britain.
Margarette decided to team up with West and Leeds United to bring the team to safety since women playing sports was seen as a political act of defiance against the Taliban.
Khalida Popal, a former captain of Afghanistan’s national women’s team who has spearheaded evacuation efforts for female athletes told the media that she is happy and relieved that the soccer players are already safe from harm.
“Many of those families left their houses when the Taliban took over. Their houses were burnt down,” Popal said.
“Some of their family members were killed or taken by Taliban. So the danger and the stress was very high, and that’s why it was very important to move fast to get them outside Afghanistan,” Popal added.