[QODLink]
Football

Afghanistan welcomes football home

With start of Afghan Premier League around the corner, Afghanistan celebrate hosting first international in a decade.

Last Modified: 16 Aug 2013 14:53
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The international match against Pakistan will be played in Kabul at the AFF stadium [GALLO/GETTY]

Afghanistan will host their first international soccer match for 10 years when they play Pakistan in a friendly next Tuesday, soccer's governing body FIFA said on Friday.

The match will take place on an artificial pitch at the AFF(Afghanistan Football Federation) stadium, FIFA said.

"The fact that we are hosting our first international game in 10 years, and the first against Pakistan in Kabul since 1977, represents a major highlight for football in our country," AFF secretary general Sayed Aghazada, told FIFA.com.

Afghan football has improved in terms of organisation and infrastructure, and we now believe that football can play an even bigger role in our country. Of course we expect a sell-out crowd

Sayed Aghazada, AFF secretary general

"It shows that after a very difficult period we are returning to normality.

"Afghan football has improved in terms of organisation and infrastructure, and we now believe that football can play an even bigger role in our country. Of course we expect a sell-out crowd."

Turkmenistan were the last team to visit Afghanistan for a match, winning 2-0 in 2003.

Ranked 139th in the world, Afghanistan are unbeaten in three outings this year, having beaten Sri Lanka and Mongolia and drawn with Laos.

"This is a very symbolic game for the whole football community in south Asia which confirms that our sport can contribute to promote a positive relationship between neighbour countries," said Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) secretary general Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi.

FIFA said that next week would also see the start of the eight-team Afghan Premier League, which will be played for the second time.

The tournament features teams from the whole country who are selected from a scouting process implemented by the AFF.

All matches are played in Kabul at the AFF stadium and are televised live.

305

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.