Sport in Afghanistan

Sport in Afghanistan

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The Sports in Afghanistan are run by the Afghan Sports Federation
Afghan Sports Federation
The Afghan Sports Federation is a non-profit organization based in Fairfax, Virginia to help Afghan-Americans compete in various sports....

, which promotes cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

, football, basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

, volleyball
Volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

, golf
Golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

, handball
Team handball
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

, boxing
Boxing
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

, taekwondo
Taekwondo
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way", "method", or "path"...

, weightlifting
Weightlifting
Olympic Weightlifting, also called Olympic-style weightlifting, or weightlifting, is an athletic discipline in the modern Olympic programme in which participants attempt a maximum-weight single lift of a barbell loaded with weight plates....

, bodybuilding
Bodybuilding
Bodybuilding is a form of body modification involving intensive muscle hypertrophy. An individual who engages in this activity is referred to as a bodybuilder. In competitive and professional bodybuilding, bodybuilders display their physiques to a panel of judges, who assign points based on their...

, track and field
Track and field
Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

, skating
Skating
Skating may refer to:*Freestyle slalom skating*Ice skating and various sub-forms:**Figure skating**Speed skating**Tour skating*Inline skating and sub-forms:**Aggressive inline skating**Inline speed skating*Road skating*Roller skating...

, bowling
Bowling
Bowling Bowling Bowling (1375–1425; late Middle English bowle, variant of boule Bowling (1375–1425; late Middle English bowle, variant of boule...

, snooker
Snooker
Snooker is a cue sport that is played on a green baize-covered table with pockets in each of the four corners and in the middle of each of the long side cushions. A regular table is . It is played using a cue and snooker balls: one white , 15 worth one point each, and six balls of different :...

, chess
Chess
Chess is a two-player board game played on a chessboard, a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.Each player...

, and other sports. At the moment, cricket and football are the most popular sports in Afghanistan.

Football



Football is the most popular sport in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan national football team
Afghanistan national football team
The Afghanistan national football team is the national team of Afghanistan and is controlled by the Afghanistan Football Federation. The national team was founded in 1922 that joined FIFA in 1948 and the AFC in 1954...

 was founded in 1922, joining FIFA
FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...

 in 1948 and the Asian Football Confederation
Asian Football Confederation
The Asian Football Confederation is the governing body of association football in Asia. It has 46 member countries, mostly located on the Asian continent. However, due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia, nations such as Russia and Turkey which are located mostly in geographic Asia are...

 (AFC) in 1954. Although it did not play in any international games from 1984 to 2003 due to internal conflicts, it is striving and hoping to make it to FIFA one day. The national stadium, which was built during the reign of King Amanullah Khan
Amanullah Khan
Amanullah Khan was the King of the Emirate of Afghanistan from 1919 to 1929, first as Amir and after 1926 as Shah. He led Afghanistan to independence over its foreign affairs from the United Kingdom, and his rule was marked by dramatic political and social change...

, has been used for football matches between teams from different provinces of the country as well as neighboring countries.

The Afghanistan women's national football team
Afghanistan Women's National Football Team
Afghanistan Woman's National Football Team was created in 2007 directed by the Afghanistan Olympic Committee. The National side was established from the selected school girls in Kabul. That year, the team played for the first time against ISAF Women Football Team. The result was 5-0 in favor of...

 was formed in 2007.

Cricket


Cricket is a popular sport in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan national cricket team, which officially began in 2002 and is dominated by Pashtuns
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

, has played in the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier
2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier
The 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier was a cricket tournament that took place in April 2009 in South Africa. It was the final qualification tournament for the 2011 Cricket World Cup....

 and 2010 ICC World Cricket League Division One
2010 ICC World Cricket League Division One
The 2010 ICC World Cricket League Division One was a cricket tournament which took place in July 2010 in the Netherlands. It is a part of the World Cricket League competition administered by the International Cricket Council, the international governing body for cricket.Division One, which is the...

. The team qualified for the 2012 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup. In the national level, cricket matches are played between provinces, mainly between the south and eastern provinces of the country.

The Afghanistan national women's cricket team
Afghanistan national women's cricket team
The Afghanistan national women's cricket team is the team that represents the country of Afghanistan in international women's cricket matches. The team was formed in 2010, drawing on players mostly from Kabul. Although the team is yet to play representative cricket, it is scheduled to take part in...

 was formed in 2010.

Other sports


Buzkashi
Buzkashi
Buzkashi or Kok-boru or Oglak Tartis or Ulak Tartysh is a traditional Central Asian...

 is a traditional sport that was brought to the region by the Mongols
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

 in the 13th century. It is mostly played by people in northern Afghanistan and in Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 as well as in northwestern parts of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

.

Basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 has existed in Afghanistan since at least the 1970s and is slowly becoming popular again. It is played by both Afghan men and women.

The following is a list of other sports that Afghans are participants in:
  • Volleyball
    Volleyball
    Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

  • Golf
    Golf
    Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

  • Track and field
    Track and field
    Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

  • Handball
    Team handball
    Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

  • Boxing
    Boxing
    Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

  • Taekwondo
    Taekwondo
    Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way", "method", or "path"...

  • Weightlifting
    Weightlifting
    Olympic Weightlifting, also called Olympic-style weightlifting, or weightlifting, is an athletic discipline in the modern Olympic programme in which participants attempt a maximum-weight single lift of a barbell loaded with weight plates....

  • Bodybuilding
    Bodybuilding
    Bodybuilding is a form of body modification involving intensive muscle hypertrophy. An individual who engages in this activity is referred to as a bodybuilder. In competitive and professional bodybuilding, bodybuilders display their physiques to a panel of judges, who assign points based on their...

  • Skating
    Skating
    Skating may refer to:*Freestyle slalom skating*Ice skating and various sub-forms:**Figure skating**Speed skating**Tour skating*Inline skating and sub-forms:**Aggressive inline skating**Inline speed skating*Road skating*Roller skating...

  • Bowling
    Bowling
    Bowling Bowling Bowling (1375–1425; late Middle English bowle, variant of boule Bowling (1375–1425; late Middle English bowle, variant of boule...

  • Snooker
    Snooker
    Snooker is a cue sport that is played on a green baize-covered table with pockets in each of the four corners and in the middle of each of the long side cushions. A regular table is . It is played using a cue and snooker balls: one white , 15 worth one point each, and six balls of different :...

  • Chess
    Chess
    Chess is a two-player board game played on a chessboard, a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.Each player...


Olympics



Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 has participated in 11 Summer Olympic Games
Summer Olympic Games
The Summer Olympic Games or the Games of the Olympiad are an international multi-sport event, occurring every four years, organized by the International Olympic Committee. Medals are awarded in each event, with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition that...

. They have never appeared in any Winter Olympic Games
Winter Olympic Games
The Winter Olympic Games is a sporting event, which occurs every four years. The first celebration of the Winter Olympics was held in Chamonix, France, in 1924. The original sports were alpine and cross-country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic combined, ski jumping and speed skating...

.

Afghanistan won their first Summer Olympic medal during the 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, was a major international multi-sport event that took place in Beijing, China, from August 8 to August 24, 2008. A total of 11,028 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees competed in 28 sports and 302 events...

, with Rohullah Nikpai
Rohullah Nikpai
Rohullah Nikpai is an Afghani taekwondo practitioner.-Career:Of Hazara origin, Nikpai started his training in Kabul, Afghanistan, at the age of 10. During the bloody conflict over the capital city, his family left the city and settled in one of Iran's many Afghan refugee camps. He soon became a...

 winning a bronze medal in men's Taekwondo 58 kg. Afghanistan has never won a silver or gold medal.

Stadiums and gymnasiums


There are small sized football stadiums in most major cities of Afghanistan, which were built before the 1970s and they lack modern seatings. They will only improve once more people turn to sport and the nation's economy picks up, including the security situation and proper investors are found. The President of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, Omar Zakhilwal
Omar Zakhilwal
Dr. Omar Zakhilwal , is an economist and a prominent politician in Afghanistan. He is the current Finance Minister as well as the Chief Economic Advisor to the President of Afghanistan. He is also the president of the Afghanistan Cricket Board.-Early life:...

, announced in October 2010 that the government was planning to construct standard cricket grounds in all 34 provinces
Provinces of Afghanistan
The provinces of Afghanistan are the primary administrative divisions of Afghanistan. As of 2004, there are thirty-four provinces in the country. Each province is further divided into smaller districts....

 in the next two years. There is also another larger gymnasium under construction in Kabul. Currently there is only the Olympic Committee Gymnasium, which is constantly used by teams of different sports.

The following are some of the major stadiums in Afghanistan:
  • Ghazi Amanullah Khan International Cricket Stadium
    Ghazi Amanullah Khan International Cricket Stadium
    The Ghazi Amanullah Khan International Cricket Stadium is the first international standard cricket stadium in Afghanistan. It is located in the Ghazi Amanullah Khan Township, about 15 kilometres outside the city of Jalalabad in Nangarhar Province....

     in Nangarhar Province
    Nangarhar Province
    Nangarhar is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan in the east of the country. Its capital is the city of Jalalabad. The population of the province is 1,334,000, which consists mainly of ethnic Pashtuns with a sizable community of Arabs and Pashais....

  • Sherzai Cricket Stadium (under construction)
  • Kandahar International Cricket Stadium in Kandahar
    Kandahar
    Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

     (under construction) http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2010/10/27/20-acres-land-donated-cricket-stadium-kandahar
  • Kandahar Stadium http://www.flickr.com/photos/24037728@N08/2408005625/in/photostream
  • Kabul National Cricket Stadium
    Kabul National Cricket Stadium
    Kabul National Cricket Stadium is a description of a stadium in Kabul, Afghanistan that is currently under construction. It is planned to be opened in July 2011 and have a seating capacity of 6,000 spectators....

     in Kabul
    Kabul
    Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

     (under construction)
  • Ghazi Stadium in Kabul