21 Aug 2013

Joy in Kabul after soccer win over Pakistan

7:21 am on 21 August 2013

Rowdy celebrations erupted in Afghanistan after the national football team beat Pakistan 3-0 in the first international match in Kabul for 10 years.

A capacity crowd of 6000 was at the Afghanistan Football Federation stadium on Tuesday for the game. Only a small number were women.

Afghanistan is ranked 139th in the world, just above Pakistan.

Security was intense with several rings of armed riot police and soldiers outside the stadium.

Football was not banned under the Taliban, but the old Ghazi stadium in Kabul was a notorious venue for executions, stonings and mutilations.

Political ties are badly strained between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which blame each other for the killings in both countries.

Afghanistan last played Pakistan in Kabul in 1977, before the Soviet invasion, the civil war and the Taliban regime from 1996-2001.