Following another round of complex negotiations, FIFA can confirm that it has supported Qatar with the evacuation from Afghanistan of the second group of refugees linked to women’s football and basketball. A total of 57 individuals, mostly women and children, safely landed in Doha on Wednesday, 20 October, on a Qatar Airways charter flight.
Last Thursday, 14 October, FIFA and Qatar successfully evacuated almost 100 members of the football family from Afghanistan to Doha, including female players. FIFA would like to express its sincere thanks to the government of Qatar for its support in facilitating extensive discussions and ensuring the safe passage of these individuals, deemed to have been at the highest risk.
The FIFA leadership has been working closely with Qatar on the evacuation effort since August, with Albania having joined the collaboration more recently. FIFA now calls on all countries across the world to support this humanitarian cause by offering a permanent settlement to these women and families to enable them to begin to rebuild their lives.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said:
“We would like to express our sincere thanks to both the Amir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, for helping us with this humanitarian mission and for all their assistance in safely relocating these members of the football community in such challenging circumstances. I am also calling on all of our friends in governments and in the football community across the world to help us in obtaining residence permits and visas for the evacuees so that they can start a new life in safe and secure circumstances.”
FIFA will continue to work resolutely on the safe evacuation of further members of the sporting family.
Source: FIFA Press Release
Cover image credit: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images (File photo: Passengers board a Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021.)
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