Over the decades the practice of football has been a constant struggle for girls and women in Afghanistan, but on March 8 the Football Federation of Afghanistan and the Danish sportswear brand hummel have come together to present the new shirt of the national team with a double cause for celebration on International Women’s Day.
This innovative women’s kit, which will be launched simultaneously for the men’s team, includes an integrated hijab that will allow women to practice sports in their country, as well as helping them compete with equality at the international level.
The hijab itself is part of the base shirt and is the first time it is included as a standard feature in an international shirt. The general design of the equipment of the men’s and women’s team in Afghanistan incorporates the best of the country’s tradition and heritage. The Afghan lions adorn the front of the two new shirts and the excellence of the calligraphy of the master craftsmen of Kabul is demonstrated. For its part, the design of the sleeves is inspired by the traditional dress of Afghanistan.
This kit facilitates the practice of sport, but above all, it symbolizes the best of Afghanistan’s past and at the same time it offers the hope of a bright future. The former captain of the women’s national team, Khadila Popal, is very aware of the meaning and importance of this shirt.
He played more than 20 games with his country before a knee injury forced him to premature withdrawal. Popal now lives in Denmark, but is still in contact with the national team of Afghanistan, thanks to his bond with hummel and the mission of the brand to change the world through sport. “For a country like Afghanistan, being able to wear the national team’s shirt is like a power, a way to build confidence in women,” he said. “That makes you feel powerful.”
“It was a great honor to be a captain of my country’s team, but it was an even greater honor to be seen as a role model and an inspiration to thousands of girls and young women in Afghanistan,” he said. “The women’s team in Afghanistan shows the enormous potential of football as a unifying force. I want to think that we have given new hope to a large number of women in our country, ”he concluded.
For the owner of the hummel, Christian Stadil, the work with the Football Federation of Afghanistan is indicative of our continued commitment to give those in need a victory position. “We don’t sponsor the biggest teams in the world, but we make alliances with teams and clubs with a story to tell, like Afghanistan,” he says. “We try to meet the Afghan people and their situation, and at this time it is helping women who play football with or without a hijab.”