“We are working to finalize visas for the Afghan Women’s Development Team and look forward to welcoming them to the UK shortly,” a UK government spokesperson told CNN.
Britain’s Home Office declined to comment on the type of visas players and their families would receive.
In August, the British government announced a resettlement program for Afghan citizens facing “threats of persecution from the Taliban”.
The program, which prioritizes women, girls and religious minorities, will see the UK welcome 20,000 refugees over the next five years.
Thirty-five young footballers, mostly teenagers, and their families – a total of 130 people – missed the airlift evacuations from Kabul in August, according to a UK-based charity, the ROKiT Foundation, which provides An assistance.
“With the help of very brave people on the ground in Afghanistan, the girls made the perilous journey in small groups to the Pakistani border and all were finally able to pass,” said Jonathan Kendrick, founder of the ROKiT Foundation. .
“They have the right to dream”
Pakistan granted the players and their families temporary 30-day visas and they were transported to Lahore before applying for British visas, Kendrick said.
With the visa application successful, Kendrick said the second phase of the operation was “the safe accommodation of the girls” in Pakistan ahead of the third phase, coming in “the next two weeks,” of the relocation of the girls and of their families. UK.
Siu-Anne Marie Gill, CEO of the ROKiT Foundation, said the charity would continue to offer support to the UK “including helping to organize continuing education […] as well as tryouts for players from several professional English women’s football teams who have already shown great interest in meeting them. “
Andrea Radrizzani, president of English Premier League team Leeds United, last month urged the UK government to help girls resettle in the country.
In a statement sent to CNN, the Leeds owner said he was “ready to support in any way possible to give the girls a prosperous and peaceful future”.