Afghanistan’s female footballers make tearful calls for help

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LONDON (AP) — Former Afghanistan women’s national team captain Khalida Popal can hear the distress and tearful pleas for help in the frantic phone calls and voice messages she is receiving. They are from the players in the team Popal helped establish, who now fear for their lives after the Taliban swept to regain control of the country after two decades. All she can advise them to do is to flee their homes, escape from neighbors who know them as pioneering players, and try to erase their history — particularly activism against the Taliban who are now re-establishing the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

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