Afghan women’s players in security in Britain with the help of Kim Kardashian West

Members of Afghanistan’s women’s youth development football team landed safely in Britain on Thursday with the help of a New York rabbi and Kim Kardashian West months after they were evacuated from their home country.

About 130 people made up of more than 30 teenage players and their families landed at Stansted Airport near London, where they will spend 10 days in quarantine before beginning their new lives, the Associated Press reported.

The plane was chartered by Kardashian West and her SKIMs brand at a request for assistance from Rabbi Moshe Margaretten, founder of the nonprofit group Tzedek Association. English Premier Club Leeds United have offered to support the players, according to the AP.

Club majority owner Andrea Radrizzani shared a photo on Twitter.

Afghanistan’s girls team lands in the UK

The group was first evacuated from Afghanistan in August after the Taliban regained control of the country. The women’s national team evacuated to Qatar and Australia. The youth team moved to Portugal.

The Taliban are strict and oppressive towards women and began to slow down women’s education and freedom after taking power. Women who play sports are seen as defiant, and athletes were early asked to burn any evidence they had played to avoid consequences from the new regime.

“Many of these families left their houses when the Taliban took over. Their houses were burned down,” former women’s national team captain Khalida Popal, who was in charge of the evacuation efforts, told the Associated Press. “Some of their family members were killed or taken by the Taliban. So the danger and stress was very high and therefore it was very important to move quickly to get them outside Afghanistan.”

The development team has been in Pakistan since August and acquired British visas, but they had no escape out of the country and time was running out on their Pakistani visas. That was when the Tzedek Association, a nonprofit group in the United States, stepped in and Margaret contacted Kardashian West.

The reality TV star has worked with Margaretten on the criminal justice reform and funded the entire charter flight for the development team.

Afghanistan's youth women's national team

Members of the Afghanistan Youth Women’s National Team stand in front of Torre de Belem on September 29, 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal. They were granted asylum there before traveling to the UK. (Horacio Villalobos Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images)

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