Afghans unite for the game of soccer
Afghan soccer fans celebrate the country's first premier league football final. By Waslat Hasrat-NazimiTeam spiritFor the first time ever, soccer fans had the opportunity to watch a final match of the Afghan Premier League (APL). Two teams from different regions of the country met at Kabul's Ghazi Stadium on Friday, October 19, to have it out on the pitch. Suspense growsThe excitement grew as players from undefeated Toofan Harirod from the western city of Herat trotted out onto the pitch for their standoff with opponents Simorgh Alborz from northern Mazar-i-Sharif. Female fansA large number of women were in the stands to cheer on their teams. Under the Taliban, Ghazi Stadium was only used as an execution grounds. Now, men and women can watch sporting events there together. Like a storm"Toofan" means tornado - a fitting name for Toofan Harirod. They scored their first goal in the first minute of the game. Something newOver 5,000 fans turned up at the stadium in Kabul - so many, in fact, that the gates had to be closed. For the better part of the audience, the game was a much-needed distraction from the drabness of every-day life. Winner takes allToofan Harirod ultimately won the match 2:1. Despite the fact that the teams had only been around for a few weeks, they all played quite well. The first season of the Afghan Premier League was a rousing success - for everyone. United for soccerDespite the fact that the fans were from all over Afghanistan, all were united in the spirit of soccer. They all rooted for one team: Afghanistan.
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