Afghan women conclude first international friendly

The Afghanistan national women's football team has completed its first ever international match abroad competing in a club tournament in Pakistan. The squad of 20 female players and two female coaches faced neighboring Pakistan in a friendly on Saturday. They were beaten 2-0. Although there are now 500 registered women players across Afghanistan, the game has had to develop in a cautious way given the conservative society. "At the beginning we had lots of problems. Most families didn't want their daughters to play football. We kept being in contact with the parents to try to convince them there was nothing wrong with it," said Coach Abdul Saboor Walizadah.

Earlier, players told media of their passion for the game. "When I was a child I always wanted to be a good football player," the 18-year-old captain of the women's national football team, Shamila Khostani, told the BBC. "We don't care if we lose or win, but we try. But, unfortunately under the period of the Taleban I couldn't play football or any sport ... when the Taleban went I found the opportunity and started playing soccer. We wanted to show that girls can also play football like boys," she said. "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," Hadisa Wali, told NDTV. "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," she said. Palwasha Daud played football growing up in Pakistan. "When I returned home to Afghanistan I played football during school sports classes. After that, when football teams were created, I wanted to register," she said.

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