How Afghanistan women’s football teammade it to Australia
When women’s football was gaining momentum in Afghanistan, there was not much support and little recognition from the international community. So coach Samira Khan took her team to Australia to raise awareness.
After two years in Kabul, the Afghan Women’s Football Association (AWFA) in a bid to improve performance, signed a three year deal with the University of South Australia, SA, in September 2017. Coach Samira Khan left Kabul after two years but in return she received a scholarship at the University.
For the next three and half months, AWFA went on a tour of Australia and the United Arab Emirates, and later on a road trip around Canada. The Afghan women competed in all five categories in Australia, including AFC Champions League, which is an event not yet played in Afghanistan.
While attending a meeting in the United Arab Emirates, AWFA members received an invitation to attend an international football match. The team was surprised with one of the most special and exciting moments of their lives on that day. The dream of being able to represent their country was suddenly given the most positive sign: they got to play in the international competition of their country! They received an offer to play in Canada and the United Arab Emirates, and they immediately decided to accept it.
“The International Women’s Championship is a competition which is held every two years in Australia, the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand or elsewhere. Women’s football is not as popular as men’s, but we believe strongly that women’s football will play a positive role in the community. We received an offer to play in the tournament but we accepted it as soon as we heard (the news). We will do our best and try to win in the tournament.” – Samira Khan and head coach of the Afghan women’s football team,
The team left for Australia in December of 2018. On that route, they visited Canberra, the Australian Capital, Sydney, Gold Coast, Perth