Players from Afghanistan women’s national soccer team boarded an Australian evacuation flight that carried more than 75 passengers on Tuesday.
“These young women, both as athletes and activists, have been in a position of danger and on behalf of their peers around the world we thank the international community for coming to their aid,” Global soccer players’ union FIFPRO said in a statement.
The Afghan team was created in 2007 in a country where women playing sport was seen as a political act of defiance against the Taliban.
Members of the team had been advised to delete social media posts and photographs of them with the team to help avoid reprisals since the United States-backed Afghanistan government fell.
Their former captain, Khalida Popal, hailed the evacuation as an "important victory."