With Fifa’s Help
In its efforts to help rebuild the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) following the fall of the Taliban, FIFA has always focused on ensuring that women’s football would not be forgotten. As ten percent of FIFA’s Financial Assistance Programme funding (USD 25,000) had to be spent on the women’s game, slowly but surely women’s football began to move forward, and as this mandatory figure increased to 15% (or USD 37,500) in 2008, further development can be expected. The first women’s football activities in Afghanistan – girls’ football in schools – were fully financed by FAP funding.
FIFA is also supporting the “Learn&Play” project in Kabul as it gives boys and girls an education as well as the opportunity to play football on a regular basis. In August 2005, three-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Birgit Prinz visited the project at FIFA’s request and it proved to be the best possible form of advertising for women’s football as it encouraged more Afghan women to take up the sport.
FIFA also organised a women’s football seminar in Doha in March 2006 that was attended by delegations from Afghanistan as well from 12 other Muslim countries. The seminar, which also drafted a strategic plan for women’s football at the AFF and gave participants the opportunity to exchange experiences, gave women’s football in Afghanistan another welcome boost. It goes without saying that FIFA has also been only too happy to support the newly formed Afghan women’s national team by, for example, organising the team’s first training camp in Pakistan and providing the kit and equipment for their second camp in Germany.