Afghan Girls’ Soccer Team Granted Asylum in Portugal

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Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Afghan Girls’ Soccer Team Granted Asylum in Portugal” – below is their description.

(AP) For weeks, the Afghanistan national girls soccer team had been waiting for word they could leave.

On Sunday, the message finally came. The girls and their families boarded a charter flight from Afghanistan to Portugal, which has granted them asylum.

Since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the girls, ages 14-16, and their families, had been trying to leave.

They feared what their lives might become like under the Taliban, who forbid women and girls from playing sports.

All of the girls say they hope to one day become professional soccer players as adults.

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  • In This Story: Afghanistan

    Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast.

    Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks.

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    Portugal is a southern European country on the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain. Its location on the Atlantic Ocean has influenced many aspects of its culture: salt cod and grilled sardines are national dishes, the Algarve’s beaches are a major destination and much of the nation’s architecture dates to the 1500s–1800s, when Portugal had a powerful maritime empire. 

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    The Taliban or Taleban, who refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, is a Deobandi Islamist movement and military organization in Afghanistan, currently waging war within the country. Since 2016, the Taliban’s leader has been Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada.

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