It’s a new beginning for several young soccer players. They’re members of the Afghanistan girl’s national soccer team, and they recently left their homeland after being granted asylum in Portugal.
“They’re extremely thankful they don’t know what to say,” Afghanistan Women’s National Soccer Team Captain Farkhunda Muhtaj said.
“Again, they don’t even, can’t even fathom that they’re out of Afghanistan. They’re still in a state of shock and can’t believe it.”
The girls, all between 14 and 16, have been trying to leave Afghanistan since the Taliban regained control of the country after U.S. forces left. The girls feared they wouldn’t play anymore since the Taliban has pledged to ban girls and women from playing sports.
The team’s coach, Wida Zemarai, says it’s a relief to have them out of Afghanistan.
“They can’t explain with feelings how we feel right now, what these things mean for them and to see them happy,” they said.
“It makes us very happy. And I’m very proud of all the team.”
These girls all have big dreams of becoming doctors, engineers, and professional soccer players. Despite leaving behind their homes and most of their belongings, they’re all looking forward to what the future holds.