On Sunday, the Women’s Soccer Team from Afghanistan played their first match in Australia since its evacuation from Taliban occupied country last year.
The team played a 0-0 draw in its opening game in Vitoria’s Senior Women’s Competition. The team was helped by Victory in relocating to Melbourne and training the players under Victory’s banner. Instead of wearing their traditional navy blue shirt with a white ‘V’, players will don a kit that pays tribute to their homeland, a red home shirt and a white away shirt with the Afghan flag on the back.
According to the players, the jersey will not have family names on the back to protect loved ones still living in Afghanistan who may be in danger from the Taliban. The shirts will have their first names or nicknames instead.
The Afghan Women’s team was originally formed in 2007 and played its first international match against Nepal in 2010 and won its first match 2-0 against Qatar in 2012.
It has only been a few months since 30 women and coaches were rescued in an evacuation operation by the Australian government as the Taliban resumed control of Afghanistan after 20 years, again putting women’s sports at risk.