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Afghan women soccer players enter Pakistan

By Associated Press

ISLAMABAD: Members of Afghanistan’s women soccer team and their families arrived in Pakistan after fleeing their country in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover, local media said on Wednesday.

It was unclear how many Afghan women players and their family members were allowed to enter in Pakistan.

According to Pakistan’s information minister Fawad Chaudhry, the Afghan women soccer players entered in Pakistan though the northwestern Torkham border crossing holding valid travel documents.

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“We welcome Afghanistan women football team,” Chaudhry tweeted, providing no further details.

However, Pakistan’s English-langue The DAWN newspaper on Wednesday reported that the Afghan female footballers were issued emergency humanitarian visas following the Taliban takeover of Kabul.

The Taliban reportedly don’t want women to participate in sports.

The Taliban has not commented, but an official confirmed that under the government’s interpretation of Islam, women are not allowed to play any sports where they could potentially be exposed.

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The official was not authorized to speak with media before any official announcement by the government.

Last week, the Taliban announced an all-male interim government for Afghanistan stacked with veterans of their hard-line rule from the 1990s and the 20-year battle against the U.S.-led coalition.

The move seems unlikely to win the international support the new leaders desperately need to avoid an economic meltdown.

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