Nadia Nadim on women’s football in Afghanistan one year on from Taliban takeover
Nadia Nadim on women’s football one year on from Taliban takeover
Afghanistan went to the polls in October to select their next president — an election that became, in retrospect, a watershed moment for women’s rights in the country.
And at the end of this year, despite being banned from voting by her family, Nadim will take part in the first ever women’s football tournament in the country — with a team called the Kabul United in the city’s stadium.
The competition will take place against men’s teams from across Afghanistan as well as from Iraq and Sudan.
Nadim and her team have played an incredibly courageous and brave campaign to change the lives of women in Afghanistan.
After being locked away for three decades, they finally got their chance to play competitively in the first ever women’s football tournament in the country.
I have been looking to cover women’s sport since I came to Afghanistan almost two years ago — following in the footsteps of my female friends who have been travelling around the country to watch their favourite teams play. They’re a few of the women I know who have travelled to Kabul to watch the team play.
The Afghan Football Federation (AFF) has seen women’s football grow in popularity in the country
In the early part of 2018, they all agreed to go and watch the team play.
Nadia Nadim, the team manager, was selected as the captain for the team. After a long and hard battle, her family finally agreed to let her out.
Her only previous experience of a football match was at a school tournament where she saw her team play.
She watched in horror as some of her teammates were brutally beaten by the opposing team.
The coach of the Afghan U-17 women’s team in Kabul, Nawzada Khodayar, had a word with Nadim and asked her to take her place on the team and help them out.
That’s when her dream