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Afghan Sports Federation Rejuvenates Afghanistan’s Athletic Prowess

The Afghan Sports Federation (ASF) has been a strong partner in rebuilding Afghanistan, providing Afghans with entertaining competitions and training a new generation of Afghan athletes. While many sectors suffered during the nearly three decades of war in Afghanistan, many young athletes were deprived of their rights to train and compete in national and international competitions.

ASF is a non-profit organization based in Fairfax, Virginia, and was formally established in 1998 by a group of Afghan Soccer players and enthusiasts in the Metropolitan Washington DC area. Since 1998, ASF has contributed to restoring Afghanistan’s pride her own talented young athletes. ASF was established with the goal of creating a community center for male and female Afghan athletes who want to be active in amateur sports or pursue professional career in a particular athletic field. It currently organizes soccer, volleyball, basketball, track, bowling and chess programs such as training sessions and competitions.

ASF’s annual soccer league will begin its season in April and will hold a soccer camp in July. Recently, ASF helped to organize Afghanistan’s National Basketball Team, which competed in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. Debuting after a decades long absence from the international basketball scene, the Afghan National Team beat Hong Kong 65-57. Speaking after the final buzzer, team member Farhad Nangialai told journalists, “To be on the roster for Afghanistan is a big thing for us. We're all Afghans, friends, cousins. We're not playing for the name on the back of the jersey but for the name on the front of the jersey." Such national pride truly embodies the spirit in this new chapter of the history of sports in Afghanistan

In the near future, ASF hopes to build new soccer fields, gymnasiums and potentially a community center building to serve the Afghan-American community. ASF is also working toward establishing a worldwide Afghan sports body in hopes of building a competitive Afghan national team for future Olympics.

ASF has a website with regularly updated news on sports in Afghanistan as well as information on the programs through the United States and Afghanistan:

http://afghansportsfederation.org/index.htm

 

 

 

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