The Afghan women’s football team plays its first match in Australia

The team played their opening game on Sunday just months after 30 players and coaches were rescued in an evacuation operation led by the Australian government.

The team played their opening game on Sunday just months after 30 players and coaches were rescued in an evacuation operation led by the Australian government.

Afghanistan’s women’s soccer team played their first match since being evacuated from the Taliban-ruled country last year, aided by A-League side Melbourne Victory.

Afghan women’s team Melbourne Victory played out a 0-0 draw in their Sunday opener in Victoria’s senior women’s competition, just months after 30 players and coaches were rescued as part of a evacuation operation by the Australian government, as the Taliban regained control. of the country after 20 years and once again jeopardizes women’s sport.

The Victorys are supporting the team members who have moved to Melbourne. The team held its first practice in February and will play under the Victory banner this year.

But instead of wearing Victory’s traditional navy blue with a white ‘V’, the team will wear a shirt that pays homage to their homeland, a red home shirt and a white away shirt with the Afghanistan flag on the back. .

The shirts do not have the players’ surnames on the back, which the players say is to protect family members still in Afghanistan and potentially under threat from the Taliban. Instead, players have their first names or nicknames on their shirts.

The Afghan team was established in 2007, played their first official international in 2010 against Nepal and won their first match 2-0 against Qatar in 2012.

The rise of the Taliban and subsequent flight of players also led to the team withdrawing from the Asian Women’s Cup qualifiers in India in February, which also served as a Women’s World Cup qualifier in India. next year in Australia and New Zealand.

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