Zaki Anwari, Afghanistan’s young footballer, dies falling from US evacuation jet in Kabul

By our correspondent

KABUL: A member of Afghanistan youth football team Mohammad Zaki Anwari was among those killed who were making desperate attempts to cling onto a US military jet which was evacuating people from Kabul, Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) has confirmed it.

“Anwari was one of hundreds of young people who wanted to leave the country and in an incident fell off an American military plane and died,” the federation said in a facebook statement. This has put in a shock the whole football community of Afghanistan in particular and those related to the global sport in general.

Last Monday a crowd of Afghans at the Hamid Karzai International Airport at Kabul tried to run away from their homeland overrun by the Taliban. Some of them chased the US jet carrying Americans and tried to climb onto their sides, wings and wheels.

Anwari, who had represented Afghanistan junior football side, had a bright future ahead as according to his teammates he was extremely talented player. In his last facebook message he says, “You are the painter of your life. Don’t give the paint brush to anyone else.”

Acccording to other reports Anwari had trapped in the landing gear of the US jet. He tried to cling on to the side of the jet and his remains, according to reports, have been found in the aircraft’s wheel well when it landed in Qatar after it had taken off from Kabul in an environment of chaos.

The promising footballer had rushed to the airport hours after Kabul fell to the Taliban, joining thousands of others in pouring onto the runway and then chasing after the US jet despite warning shots ringing out, a report said. He had also attended the prestigious Esteqlal High School in Kabul. 

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