Afghanistan’s Football League Gets Underway

It was Thursday and when I woke up in the morning I felt a bit dizzy and unmotivated by the day ahead. I guess it might be very exciting to have holidays in other western countries because you get the chance to spend some time with your family and go some places for refreshment. However, here in Afghanistan it is not always that exciting to have a holiday. You wonder what to do with it. Although Afghanistan have so many natural places to go and get reinvigorated but for the security reasons people tend to stay put in their homes. So as usual I thought it might be another of those dull and boring days, but for my friends who had other ideas for me.

It was around 10 in the morning when my friends came calling to my house and requested me to join them in going to the opening game of the 6th footballing edition of the Afghan Premier League. To be honest, it is a bit awkward for any afghan to experience such a request in my country. Anyways, I was a bit hesitant about going to the football match for of the security reasons. Mostly we the citizens of Kabul are warned not to go into crowded places and not create such gatherings since it might give an opportunity for the terrorists to make any kind of attack. For instance, a couple of weeks ago attackers struck a mosque while people were attending Friday prayers in the capital city of Kabul, killing at least 28 worshippers. So me and my friends wondered if they can attack a mosque which is one of the holiest places in Islam, they can definitely attack on a footballing stadium with ease. Eventually we agreed to go to the football game irrespective of the threats. I guess it is the human nature that even through difficult times we tend to live life as normally as possible and the people of Afghanistan are used to this kind of life for the past 30 years.

As we approached the Afghanistan’s Football Federations Stadium we saw floods of people hastily trying to reach the ground. There were smiles on their faces and everyone was really enjoying this rare occurrence of going to a football match for entertainment. As we saw these scenes we felt the thrill and shiver in our bodies about experiencing something new in our lives for the first time. We approached the counters for tickets to the game and to our misery we got none as the tickets were all sold out; but to our joy a few other tickets which weren’t sold in a nearby super market were about to be dispatched here and be sold. So we queued in front of the counter to get the tickets we desperately wanted. After 10 minutes we got our tickets and headed towards the ground.

The Stadium was completely full of fans desperate for some joy

As we entered the stadium and got to our seats, we witnessed an amazing roar of noise from the 6000 or more fans inside the completely full stadium. There were placards of the names of both teams raised by their respective fans. Some were waiving small flags of Afghanistan in the air. The loudspeaker was noisy with the commentator encouraging the fans to raise their voice and support their teams. After a few pre-match entertainments which included a live singing performance by an afghan singer and a little comedy performance by a well-known comedian, all the fans applauded the arrival of the teams into the pitch. What we saw for the next 90 minutes was the most joyous 90 minutes of our lives. It was a thriller of a game and ended with a score line of 4-3, much to the joy of the fans inside the stadium.

Despite security threats and difficulties for women in Afghanistan lots of them attended the game

As we walked on our way from the stadium we felt really alive for the first time in a while and we understood that mostly we the people of Afghanistan thrust for peaceful, joyous, ordinary and simple lives but unfortunately we are condemned to this miserable and fearful lives that we are living daily. Although the future looks dim for our beloved country, still the people’s spirit is not dead; but you wonder for how long???


For match highlights click on the link below:

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