Afghan women ready for first international friendly

The Afghanistan women's national football squad of 20 players and two female coaches will travel to Pakistan this month for a friendly. "This is the first time that Afghan women football players will go abroad for a match," coach Abdul Saboor Walizada told Reuters. Since the Taliban were ousted in 2001, Afghanistan has witnessed unprecedented personal freedoms. The Taliban banned women not only from sports, but also education and most work outside the home and forced them to wear the all-enveloping burqa when venturing outdoors.

Afghanistan's female football players wear tracksuits to cover their legs and some wear baseball caps covering their hair. Training sessions are held in Kabul's sports stadium, where the Taliban used to publicly execute murderers, amputate the limbs of thieves and lash adulterers. Since liberation, a women's sports body was established in 2004 and now sees growth in women's football, boxing, volleyball, basketball and taekwondo.

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