The history of Sport in Afghanistan

Unorganized sport movements such as running, hunting, swimming and climbing have been known since the human creation. The first organized dance around fire started by Aryans tribe. After times joust, wrestling and horse riding took its place. 40 days of Nowruz celebrition in Balkh was the first step of organized Sport matches in Afghanistan.

After 18th century sport matches have not only saved their own value but even have got political and economical values too. In 1839 baseball and cricket started by UK sportsmen in Afghanistan. In 19th century football, volleyball and basketball started to be taught at schools. Ghazi Stadium (sport ground) opened by King Amanullah Khan in 1923 and one year later Afghanistan Football Federation started to work.

For the first time, Afghan Sportsmen joined Olympics matches in 1936. A football match between Afghanistan and Iran in 1941 was the first international match that operated in Ghazi Stadium and had no winner. In 1948 Afghanistan became a part of International Football Federation.

Afghan wrestlers are famous in the world. In 1964 wrestler Mohammad Ibrahim became fifth player in Tokyo Olympic matches. The Bodybuilding (GYM) Federation established in 1965 and two years later Kabul Gulf started in Qargha.

In 1980 Afghans Sportsmen went to Masco summer Olympics and in 1988 they met South Korea Olympics. In 1996 Afghanistan participated in Atlanta Olympic matches.

During the Taliban regime only football and volleyball were active, but not joining international matches. After 2001 the door of Sports opened for both men and women. In January 2002 the first football matches between Afghanistan National Team and United Kingdom took place. After that light days of Sport started for all Afghans and those who lived in outside joined national teams.

Achievements of Afghans in sport are also appreciable. For example; Rohullah Nikpai an Afghan taekwondo practitioner got Olympic Medal for the two times in Olympic matches 2008 and 2012. Our football and cricket teams are now more famous for their achievements. SAFF 2013 Champion, FIFA Fair Play Award 2013, AFC Challenge Cup 2014 Fair Play Award, AFC Grassroots 2013 best Federation Award, Afghanistan’s best Sports team of the year 2015, U12 national team championship in Korea 2015, Afghanistan’s best Sports Organization of the year 2016 and more achieved by Afghanistan Football National Team and its Federation.

Afghanistan Cricket team has beaten Zimbabwe for the third time in ODI series, also they beat for the first time Ireland in ODI series, two Afghan players gone to IPL for the first time, and Afghanistan also received spirit of cricket award from ICC.


Mohammad Elias Hatimi

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