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Undercovered: A Soccer Star in Exile Tells Her Story

UndercoveredSoccer is our daily feature bringing attention to excellent reporting on women’s issues worldwide, which we feel deserves a larger audience.

Khalida Popal was cofounder and captain of Afghanistan’s first national women’s soccer team, but her advocacy on behalf or women’s rights incurred threats to her life and her family.

“There was a group of men who stood against me. I felt in danger, and they wanted to silence my voice. I wanted to keep it alive,” Popal told Women & Girls Hub in an interview published Wednesday.

“That’s why I made a decision to leave my country, my family, my career, the love that I had for my team. My team that was my dream, my love, I had to leave that. The country that I wanted to play for, I had to leave that. And I left.”

Now in Denmark, where she has lived since 2011, Popal currently heads Girl Power, an organization that works to connect refugee women and girls in Europe with sporting activities.

You can read the complete interview with Women & Girls Hub here.

Undercovered is a daily feature from Mediaite, bringing attention to stories about women’s rights that warrant more attention. Go through the Undercovered archives here. If you have an idea or a tip, please email us at

[images via Wikicommons]

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