How Afghanistan women’s football teammade it to Australia
What Afghanistan women’s football teammade it to Australia?
Football, like life, has a lot of funny angles. One of the more curious is women’s football in Afghanistan, where it’s a national sport for women and is played at an international, and at times world, level. Yet here in Australia, our women’s international football team lost to Afghanistan in the final of the AFC Women’s Championship in Sydney on Sunday. The match wasn’t quite as bad as Australia’s men’s national team’s loss to Brazil in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final, but it didn’t help.
Now we’ve seen that some of our Aussies don’t get the football bug – some of them even play in the same women’s league as the Afghans – and that’s an important part of this issue. There’s something about the way our game is played that’s a touch different from theirs, and we should be able to show Australia how much it means to play with the best.
But we can. Because FIFA, who are the governing body of the sport in the world, are helping. This week, they are hosting a meeting in Germany with representatives from all of the women’s football teams in the world, to discuss the rules and regulations of women’s football in the game and, in the process, help them to adopt the laws which are currently in place.
FIFA is, in fact, helping to create an international women’s football code: the First Women’s Football Code. It is this that will, hopefully, help to change things for the better.
“We need to change the playing rules and the refereeing procedures for the game,” FIFA’s executive committee member for women’s football, Fatima Bhutta, tells me. “In the past five years, we have changed the rules of the game. This is a positive step. If we go back and do it again, we will get the right way of playing in the game. This is a new era where all the players are equal.
“There are two things FIFA can do: One is, we can send all the women’s football teams to Germany to meet FIFA. The second is, we can create a first-class women’s football code and we can bring that into the game in all its aspects. So, together with