Afghanistan: UN official honours winners of first-ever girls football competition

3 August 2006

A senior United Nations official today presented a trophy to the winners of the first-ever Kabul Girls Football Competition, a milestone event for young women in Afghanistan, where their rights were severely curtailed under the ousted Taliban regime, and voiced hope that sports would inspire them to pursue all of their dreams


“Sports provide children of all ages, boys and girls, with opportunities to express themselves, to contribute their opinions, and to become agents for change,” UN Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan Ameerah Haq stated following the match, held at the Ministry of Defence Sports Field.

“Today’s competition marks a milestone for young girls in Afghanistan, who just five years ago were not even allowed to attend school, let alone play sports,” she said. “Hopefully, their participation in events such as this one will inspire young girls to pursue their dreams, in whatever fields interest them.”

Kabul boasts 15 girls’ football teams, consisting of young women from the ages of 13 to 20. The winners of today’s match will go on to face the winners of other regional competitions in the finals, under the auspices of the Afghanistan Football Federation.

All of the participants in today’s competition were presented with footballs made especially for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) by disabled Afghans and paid for from staff donations. Over 1,000 footballs will be delivered to schools, orphanages and prisons across Afghanistan.


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