Women's football on the rise in Afghanistan

7th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

8 February 2005, HAMBURG - Women's football has seen an "enormous rise" over the past 18 months in Afghanistan with 14 clubs now registered and a national team selection in existence as well, the German Olympic committee said. The report, citing the leaders of a German development project, Holger Obermann and Ali Askar Lali, also said that a dozen women have gone through a coaching seminar - with 20 more to follow later this month and the interest growing beyond the capital Kabul. "No wonder that the inter

8 February 2005

HAMBURG - Women's football has seen an "enormous rise" over the past 18 months in Afghanistan with 14 clubs now registered and a national team selection in existence as well, the German Olympic committee said.

The report, citing the leaders of a German development project, Holger Obermann and Ali Askar Lali, also said that a dozen women have gone through a coaching seminar - with 20 more to follow later this month and the interest growing beyond the capital Kabul.
"No wonder that the interest from the provinces is growing continuously," Lali was quoted as saying.

Unlike Europe, the United States and China, where women's football is long established, the women's game faced a series of difficulties in the war-torn Muslim country.

Women's sport was outlawed by the hardline Taliban regime and only slowly started up again since the 2001 overthrow through a United States-led coalition.

Women from Afghanistan competed (in track suits) at the 2003 world athletics championships in Paris and at last year's Olympics in Athens.

The first women's football team was set up 18 months ago at the Zarghuna scool in the capital of Kabul and now forms the Huriat club team which won the inaugural championship tournament in December.

The report published by the German Olympic committee said that 14 clubs have now been registered, but that many players came from abroad such as neighbouring Iran.

The championship was supported by donations from Germany and the German embassy in Kabul.

Apart from the championships, the first steps towards a national team have been taken as well by the selection of a 20-player roster. The team is coached by Saboor Walizda, the director for women's football in Afghanistan's football federation.

While the majority of players are from abroad, the coaches are mainly teachers who have experience with basketball and volleyball.

The first dozen women underwent a seminar last August, the second seminar will see 20 women take part, with the new knowledge then transformed onto the pitch in the form of a tournament. The February seminar will also see 20 referees.

DPA

Subject: German news 

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