Afghanistan Women captain Shabnam Mobarez on team’s evacuation to Australia, their ‘unsure’ situation and the future

Afghanistan Women captain Shabnam Mobarez has spoken to her team-mates who were evacuated to Australia after the Taliban seized control in August; She says players are looked after but ‘unsure’ of next step; Mobarez believes “it’s almost like [football] is over” for Afghan women.

Afghanistan Women captain Shabnam Mobarez tells Sky Sports about her team’s ‘unsure’ situation after they were evacuated to Australia, the terrifying experiences they have been through, and what’s next…

Players from the Afghanistan women’s national football team were among a group of more than 75 people evacuated after the Taliban seized control of the capital Kabul on August 15.

With the country in crisis following the takeover by the Taliban, the young women were removed from danger thanks to an Australian effort to assist the team in escaping to safety.

Australia had, like many nations, been evacuating its citizens and some of its former staff from its embassy. Around 1,000 people were being evacuated on Australian flights and about 50 women athletes and their dependents were among those rescued and brought to the country.

Mobarez, who resides in the USA, has been in contact with the players – who are still in Australia – and said: “It is very unsure, the situation they are in right now.

“It was a traumatising experience getting out. Now they are trying to get used to this whole normal new life. I am sure they are very confused and in shock because they left family and friends behind.

“They are taken good care of in Australia so I am really happy about that, but they are unsure about what the next step is going to be in their lives.”

She described the time leading up to them being evacuated as “very tense because of the airport situation – people were being killed, there was a suicide bomb and all this stuff was happening. It’s just terrifying, the experience they’ve been through.

“These are the females we should evacuate in peace, because they deserve to be evacuated because their life is in danger.

“It was a very dangerous situation for them and honestly, I’m so proud of my sisters to just hold it together and just help each and stand together and try to help everybody so nobody is left behind.”