Afghanistan’s Women’s Soccer Team Knew It Had to Get Out. ‘Burn Your Jerseys.’

Elvera Bartels

The to start with voice message was from a sixteen-calendar year-previous forward, knee-deep in a trench stuffed with sewage and panicking in the crowds swarming Hamid Karzai Global Airport. “We are determined,” she cried around the clamor of gunfire and coughing small children. “I can not stand on my toes. I can not.”

A 2nd message, an prompt later, pinged from a defender stuck at a Taliban checkpoint: “I fell down. Our telephones are dying.” Other soccer gamers had been misplaced in the crush of hundreds attempting to breach the airport’s Principal Gate, wherever a goalkeeper had fainted. “She’s out of breath,” a teammate shouted.

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