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Afghanistan U19 World Cup team members refuse to go home, seek asylum

Some members of Afghanistan's U19 World Cup team, which finished 4th at the 2022 edition, have reportedly sought political asylum in the United Kingdom.

Afghanistan U19 World Cup team members refuse to go home, seek asylum

Afghanistan's U19 team scripted history by reaching the semifinals of a global tournament for the first time. (ACB)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 8 Feb 2022 5:47 AM GMT

Some members of the Afghanistan U19 World Cup team and some employees of the Afghanistan cricket board have fled to British capital London seeking asylum instead of returning home from the West Indies.

Afghanistan won fourth place in the Under-19 World Cup. This was the highest finish at a global cricket event for Afghanistan at any age level.

Afghan news outlet Pashtovoa reported that members of the Afghanistan cricket board confirmed that some players had landed in the UK after taking part in the Under-19 World Cup in the West Indies. They decided not to return to Afghanistan.

The names of the players and the cricket board staff who have applied for asylum in the UK have not been released. It was not immediately clear why they refused to return to Afghanistan.

This is the first time since the arrival of the Taliban in Afghanistan that an Afghan cricketer and board member have sought asylum in a foreign country.

This is however not the first time that an Afghan under-19 player has not returned to the country. A few years ago, five or six Afghan athletes applied for asylum in Canada.

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