How Afghanistan women’s football teammade it to Australia
When the Afghan women’s national football team travelled to Australia for the 2006 FIFA Women’s World Cup a new and unexpected chapter in women’s sport had been opened.
While most of the women’s teams travelling to the World Cup in Australia were heavily-funded by the football authority, the Afghanistan women’s team had to travel by road.
It took them almost a year to travel to Australia (August 2006-May 2007) and a further five months to make the journey across the world.
Afghanistan won the tournament making it the first sub-Saharan African country to do so.
It is also the first time that a team from Afghanistan has played at a major football tournament after the country was invaded by Taliban in 2001.
After playing in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)-Federation Cup in Malaysia, where they lost in the quarter-finals to China, it was a very difficult journey to Australia. The team travelled without any medical supplies or uniforms, and they had to be fed with rice and dried fish during their first two weeks of travelling.
They faced a lot of troubles on their journey including heatwaves, extreme cold and dust storms that affected their progress. But the women have overcome all difficulties.
Afghanistan’s Women’s Football Team
The Women’s Football Team of Afghanistan has been on a long quest to play in the Women’s Football World Cup after the Taliban invaded the country in 2001.
The team started playing in 2004 after an invitation from the then-governor of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai and other sports officials.
The women did not come up with any financial support for the team, but as the women’s team is officially called ‘Football for Development,’ the players gave themselves a chance of a better future by playing in a World Cup.
The women’s team travelled to Malaysia to play in the AFC-Federation Cup where they were very successful in beating the team from Vietnam and winning the first place in the Asian competition.
Their coach Farkhunda Ghammar said that they had faced a lot of problems on their journey to Australia