Khalida Popal, captain of Afghanistan's national women's football team, is persevering against family pressure and threats of violence, to represent her war-torn country. "I love football and football is everything for me and when I come and feel the football I forget everything and I become very happy when I see my team", she told CNN.
As there are no other female teams to play against at home, Afghan's best are practicing against women attached to the NATO forces in their country. "The matches are sometimes full contact. Tackles abound, but so does some real joy from the Afghans at the chance to really play; a privilege the NATO team has long taken for granted," CNN commented.
One NATO player said: "It wasn't until the last week when I met the coach that I realised that I've taken a lot for granted. Just being able to play any sport and have the freedoms that I have. It did not dawn on me until last week and when we had the chance to talk to each other that this is new for them".