Afghanistan to play in Asian Games soccer tournament

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:28 IST

Afghanistan will play soccer at the Asian Games, a move that is expected to give the war-torn nation a confidence boost. The Asian Football Confederation announ

Afghanistan to play in Asian Games soccer tournament
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Kuala Lumpur:

Afghanistan will play soccer at the Asian Games, a move that is expected to give the war-torn nation a confidence boost. The Asian Football Confederation announced today that Afghanistan would play in the Under-23 tournament at the games in Busan, South Korea, in the Group E slot vacated by Mongolia. Afghanistan's first match would be against Iran on September 28. The group's other teams are Qatar and Lebanon. Afghanistan was a founding member of the confederation in the 1950s before entering long periods of war and factional fighting that largely ended after US-led forces ousted the Taliban regime last year in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. Most sports were outlawed by the hardline Islamic Taliban, which declared games to be frivolous and un-Islamic. The militia turned soccer stadiums into public execution grounds, shooting people, hanging them from goalposts or chopping off their limbs for violating the strict Islamic laws in force at the time. But since the Taliban's ouster soccer, volleyball and other sports have returned to the streets and stadiums of Afghanistan.(AP)

Topics : Football
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