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Afghan female youth soccer players reach Pakistan, will seek asylum

Players from Afghanistan’s female youth soccer teams have arrived in Pakistan and will seek political asylum in third countries amid concern over the status of female athletes under the new Taliban government in Kabul.

Some 81 people, including female players of several youth teams, their coaches and family members reached Pakistan through the Torkham border crossing, Umar Zia, a senior Pakistan Football Federation official, said on Wednesday. A further 34 will arrive on Thursday, he said.

It was not clear when they actually crossed the border. Officials gave them garlands of red flowers as they stepped off a bus at the Federation’s office in Lahore on Wednesday.

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