Afghan women unite for football

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Twenty Afghani women will take on Pakistan in a football match later this month.

Updated: August 18, 2007 06:57 IST
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From the battle field to the football field, Afghani women have truly come a long way.

Many of them had to rebel against Islamic fundamentalism to play football. But the efforts seemed to have finally bourne fruit as 20 Afghani women gear up for their first international match against Pakistan later this month.

"Some people don't like girls playing soccer because they believe girls should not play soccer. But it is the wrong idea from these people. It's ok, good to see girls playing football," said Hadisa Wali, player.

It was the end of the Taliban regime in 2001 that began to see this surge of women in sport. Prior to that women were banned not only from sport but from all walks of life.

Something more to learn from these players - if you can't break the rules, bend them.

They have perfectly adapted their sporting gear to adhere to the Islamic dress code - from tracksuits that cover their legs to even wearing baseball caps to hide their hair.

"In Islam, we should wear the veil,but it is ok if we can wear cap, not veil. Cap is also good. It is perfect to wear cap because it cannot disturb while playing soccer," said Wali.

So for the Kabul Sports Stadium, it's been a journey from witnessing thousands of public executions to one that is helping breathe a new lease of life for the women of Afghanistan.

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