Craig Foster explained how he helped a large group of women footballers and athletes escaped the Taliban after they took over Afghanistan. As the terrorist group took control of the capital, disturbing images of a number of Afghans fleeing the country were shared across the world. There have been a number of heartwarming stories of people going above and beyond to help Afghans to flee the country. A group of almost 50 were helped evacuate by Foster and others in Australia.
“There’s a huge group involved in the rescue of Afghan female footballers from the national team, a couple of Paralympians, many other athletes, and their family members,” Craig Foster said after he and his team helped a number of sportswomen to safety from Afghanistan. “I was first contacted by former Olympian and human rights lawyer Nikki Dryden, the director of Human Rights for All, Alison Battisson, the center for sport and human rights and FIFPRO, who’d all already been involved with the Afghan women’s football team and their sexual abuse case that’s been running now for several years.”
“All of us felt very strongly about women’s rights and gender equality. We’ve been working on that for a long time here in Australia in sport, and to see really brave, courageous, female footballers and Paralympians and others were now going to be put at risk, simply because they’re exercising their human right to play sport, was just wrong,” he added. “We approached the Australian government and our ministers for sport, immigration, and foreign affairs and in a short space of time, we were able to get a commitment out of the Australian Government for humanitarian protection for these at-risk, predominantly female, athletes.”