Kim Kardashian and Leeds United have helped an Afghan youth women’s soccer team reach the UK after fleeing the Taliban.
The social media influencer paid for a robbery that caused over 30 teenage girls and their families, about 130 people in all, in Britain.
The players in Afghanistan Young Women Development Team They are among the hundreds of athletes who have left the country since the Taliban took power and began restricting women’s freedoms.
first chapter written today! When I got a call asking for help saving the Afghanistan Youth Team, I didn’t even know where to start. Today they flew to the UK. Proud to be part of the team to make it happen. Dream that one day they will play in @LUFC?? pic.twitter.com/XLPv6IXByi
– Andrea Radrizzani (@andrearadri) November 18, 2021
“Afghan footballers are well-known figures in the country,” said Khalida Popal, a former captain of the Afghanistan women’s national team who led efforts to evacuate the athletes.
“Their lives were in great danger due to the people of the country who opposed their activism and wanted to stop their sports and educational activities. “
The Taliban have “kidnapped” some of the players’ families, and some have seen their houses “burned down,” he said.
Leeds United have offered to support the players, many of whom come from poor families in the country’s provinces.
The girls went to Pakistan and got British visas, but they needed help getting to Britain.
The Tzedek Association, an American nonprofit group that had previously helped the last known member of Kabul’s Jewish community out of Afghanistan, intervened to organize the robbery.
The group’s founder, Rabbi Moshe Margaretten, contacted Ms. Kardashian, after working with her on criminal justice reform in the United States.
“Maybe an hour later, after Zoom’s call, I got a text message saying that Kim wanted to finance the entire flight,” Margaretten said.
Leeds United Football Club President Andrea Radrizzani said: “When I got a call asking for help to save Afghanistan’s youth women’s team, I didn’t even know where to start. “
He said he was “proud to be part of the team to make it happen.”
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“Let’s dream that one day they will play for Leeds United,” he added.
Ms Kardashian’s spokesperson confirmed that the star and her Skims brand chartered the flight.
“Troublemaker. Typical travel fan. Food fanatic. Award-winning student. Organizer. Entrepreneur. Bacon specialist.”