A third of the Afghan women footballers evacuated to Britain because they claimed to be deemed ‘un-Islamic’ by the Taliban ‘had never played the sport’

Afghan female football players from Afghan team celebrate with the trophy after their women’s football tournament final match in December 2013

  • The investigation identified 13 individuals who were not part of football teams
  • They were granted visas as they were deemed to be at risk from the Taliban

A number of Afghanistan women’s football team players evacuated to UK after the Taliban took control of the country ‘hadn’t even played the sport’, an investigation has claimed.

Some 35 members of the women’s national team were flown to safety in the UK along with their families – 130 people in total – from Pakistan in November 2021.

The women – aged between 13 and 19 at the time – were granted visas by the UK Home Office as they were considered to be at increased risk from the Taliban as they played a sport deemed un-Islamic by the insurgent group.

But an investigation believes around a third of the 35 women granted asylum had never actually played for the team.

Speaking to former players, coaches, and officials for the Afghan women’s team, the investigation identified 13 individuals who it claimed were not part of the team.

Players of Afghanistan national women football team attend to a training session at Odivelas, outskirts of Lisbon, September 2021

Players of Afghanistan national women football team attend to a training session at Odivelas, outskirts of Lisbon, September 2021


Conducting its investigation, the BBC’s Newsnight said it has been able to access the full list of the women’s footballers who were transported to the UK and granted asylum.

Validating the list, they said the names that were given to the Home Office were genuine. But identifying them as football players for either the national team or local clubs was false.

Najibullah Nowroozi, coach of the Herat Youth Team – where most of the players claimed to be registered – said a number of players on the list had never played football.

He told Newsnight’s investigation: ‘I have seen people in the list who have not even worn a football strip in Herat.’

The false claims by some of the women have sparked fury for many back home in Afghanistan.

Some of the women who did play for the national team were not able to make their way to the UK and are now living in Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

One anonymous player still in the country told Newsnight: ‘The Taliban have banned sports for women and girls.

‘We are left behind in Afghanistan with no future. It just makes me feel very neglected and very sad because we are the real players and not some of those that got evacuated.’

Sabriah Nawrouzi, the former captain of the Herat Youth Team, told the investigation she met some of the women who claimed to be part of the team for the very first time at a hotel as they awaited a flight to the UK.



By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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100% Data Tampering

What kind of a problem would need FAKE and manipulated documentation?

Look at all these “Climate Agreements.” We continue to lose money, prosperity and freedom while the CO2 level continue to increase, when do we say enough??