Football Match In Kabul

The first football match after the downfall of the Taliban regime was held in Afghanistan's capital Kabul. During the past five years the Taliban government in Kabul did not forbid football but the games resembled very little matches played in other countries. It was obligatory for the players to wear long trousers and to be bearded. The latter concerned also spectators at the stands. Furthermore, religious police often interrupted matches for praying. During matches fans had no right to demonstrate their emotions - shouts and whistling were prohibited. Public executions of opponents of the regime frequently took place during the intervals between the half-times. The Kabul "derby" which was held on Tuesday in the presence of 4,000 spectators between the teams Sabawun (Daybreak) and Maiwand (the name of the central street of Kabul in honour of the Maiwand area near Kandahar where the British suffered a decisive defeat in July 1880 during the second Anglo-Afghan war, due to which Afghanistan was not turned into a colony) was of an utterly different character. For the first time the footballers played in shorts, and their colours were like those of Manchester United and Real Madrid. A money prize equivalent to eight dollars was awarded to Abdullah Barak who scored the only goal of the match. The leadership of the football union of Afghanistan intends to work for restoration of the country's membership of FIFA.

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