Nadia Nadim on women’s football in Afghanistan one year on from Taliban takeover
Passionate about women’s football in Afghanistan, Nadia Nadim returns to Kabul on Tuesday with Afghan FA Women’s Super-15 coach Ghulam Haider Sayed, as well as a former team member.
“It is a unique experience visiting the country, one that I am not sure many will get to experience,” Nadim told BBC Sport.
“I am very excited to meet the Afghan FA Women’s Super-15 players, some of whom I’ve worked with since the very beginning of the game in Afghanistan – it is amazing what a difference the game has made in their lives.”
Nadia Nadim made her debut in an Afghanistan team on 27 May 2013, and has been part of three different Super-15 campaigns with the Afghan FA Women’s Super-15 team since then.
She was at the heart of the 2015 edition of the Women’s African Nations Championship, playing in her first two matches, leading the team with 22 tackles and a goal in their opening match, then losing her place to Afghan team-mate Sarah Chagha.
It took nearly a year for Nadim to return to the sport she loves, as she spent the majority of 2016 with the Australian Institute of Sport for her AIS High Performance program.
She played for the AIS in a friendly against a Bahrain national football team in November of last year, and also played in a women’s friendly against France in March of this year.
“Obviously I have to say the opportunity of playing in an AIS friendly is something special,” Nadim said, “and when you play in an AIS competition you learn so much about yourself and your teammates. It is a fantastic experience.
“All I can say is how lucky I am to be able to play in such a sport – it is something I love doing and I am just so grateful for the chance to represent my country.