Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Posts tagged: Sports


Afghan Sportswomen: Courage, hurdles and harassment

Rohullah Sorush

Afghan sportswomen have become a symbol of change for many in Afghanistan, representing hope for a more egalitarian society with greater opportunities for girls and women. For others, they are a symbol of western imperialism that is bringing change and undermining Afghan society and culture, turning women away from their families and traditional roles. For […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
National Cricket Stadium, Kabul. Photo: US Embassy Kabul (2010). Licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Great Game: The rise of Afghan cricket from exodus and war

Kate Clark Sudhansu Verma

Afghanistan continues to make inroads into the world of cricket. The men’s team has progressed from being a disorganised band of reckless hitters of the ball in the early 2000s to a well-balanced team. Two Afghans recently got contracts to play in the biggest cricket league in the world, the Indian Premier League, with deals […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
Sign of the Olympic rings at the sports ground near the Kabul National Stadium (Photo Source: Tolonews August 2016)

Two Sides of the Medal: Afghanistan at Olympia in Rio – and infighting at home

Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan’s Olympics team has marched, along with those of 206 countries and territories and an additional refuges team, into the Maracana Stadium for the opening ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games (5-21 August 2016). Sprinter Kamia Yusufi carried the Afghan flag, but, in reality, this was the smallest Afghan team since the country […]

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Philippines, Afghanistan feeling seasick after AFC Challenge Cup draw


The National (UAE), 21 May 2014 The title says it all: interesting read for football fans. A disappointing draw for the Afghan team, under normal circumstances, but well done for a landlocked taam. We also learned that former Bundesliag coach Erich Rutemöller (formerly of 1 FC Cologne, Hansa Rostock, the Iranian national team, Esteqlal Tehran and the […]

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Autumn Pastimes, or the Other Fighting Grounds of Afghanistan

Obaid Ali

Bird fighting has an ancient history as a common autumn pastime among Afghans. As soon as the weather gets colder, various tournaments take place among bird enthusiasts, either in the open air or in a warm arena, depending on what sort of birds are fighting. In Kabul, the favourite birds to take the field are […]

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BREAKING NEWS: Harirod Storm Swept the Northern Alborz

Fabrizio Foschini

Yesterday, 19 October 2012, Tofan Harirod defeated Simorgh Alborz 2-1 in a hotly contested final match of the Roshan Afghan Premier League. This may not have decisive and immediate implications on the political situation of Afghanistan, but the date will indeed remain a memorable one in the annals of Afghan sport. Moreover, it turned out […]

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Flash From the Past: The Wonderful Days of Afghanistan as a Football-Free Zone

Kate Clark

Unlike my colleague, Thomas Ruttig (see the other blog: ‘X-Factor Football’), I wasn’t an under-14 champion at soccer. Indeed, after a brief flirtation with the sport in my early teenage years, I came to the conclusion being a football fan is one of the dullest past-times on the planet. So, for me, one of the […]

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X-Factor Football: Afghanistan’s New Football Premier League

Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan’s first-ever professional football league has reached the semi-final stage. This has lifted Afghan football – which has been part of international football since the 1948 London Olympics – to a new level of organisation. For the first time, Afghanistan has a club competition, something which, in most countries, is the basis for selecting the […]

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Kabuli Youth in Ramazan Nights: A Passion for Futsal and More

S Reza Kazemi

Under the growing fog of war in Afghanistan – ISAF just reported an increase of violence by 11 per cent – the Afghan youth are struggling to live normally and gain visibility nationally, let alone internationally. During the current month of Ramazan, futsal (1) outdoors and indoors has become particularly popular among a significant part […]

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Flash from the Past: Afghans’ Shattered 2000 Olympic Dreams (amended)

Kate Clark

The 2012 Olympic Games start today in London with half a dozen Afghans representing their country in taekwondo, boxing, judo and athletics (1) and at least two Para-Olympians competing in weight-lifting and athletics (2). AAN’s senior analyst, Kate Clark, was in Kabul during the 2000 Olympics, when potential Afghan contenders had to stay at home […]

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A Note from the (Soccer) Field

AAN Guests

Here a dispatch received and sent in by ONE OF OUR FRIENDS in Afghanistan. It seems that not only the Africa Cup of Nations (with the attack on the Togo team bus) is overshadowed by violence. The dispatch has been slightly edited. For your information: In Kandahar province a football tournament has started on Friday […]

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