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Raucous Scene Grips Afghan Capital
September 12, 2013 11:14 PM   Subscribe

Soccer Euphoria The Olympic Stadium in Kabul has not seen this big a crowd since the Taliban used the place for public executions. No coercion was needed on Thursday to bring tens of thousands of delirious fans here to greet their national soccer team on its return from winning its first international championship. The underdog team stunned India, the defending South Asian champions, in a 2-0 victory in Katmandu, Nepal.
posted by Golden Eternity (12 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have something to say about this, but, surprisingly, for me, it's hard to articulate. It has to do with, I guess, my view of sports as tribal and general dislike for that reason (that it leads to the same mentality that can lead to nationalism/war/otherism, etc...)

But when the alternative is tribalism that leads to constant warfare and bloodshed, this unification on a national level is a good thing. If they can start to feel united as Afghanis, I think that might help going towards a smoother transition as a country.

I am trying my hardest to think of these things without tripping up into some sort of western paternalism/orientalism towards tribal identity and fight against colonial mentality of nation-states in general... So I guess I think this is a good thing, but I am seeing problems in my own understanding of the issues involved (as I can only be viewing it from my limited small perspective).

Regardless - good for them for achieving this, and I hope this helps bring more peace and unity within Afghanistan and it can be a sign that a strong, vigorous and beautiful country can flourish.
posted by symbioid at 11:24 PM on September 12, 2013


Afghans. The Afghani is the currency.
posted by dhartung at 12:34 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bitter sports rivalries might bring fans together, but they don't do much to bring nations together.

Good thing it was football and not cricket or the Indians would be fingering their nukes right about now.
posted by three blind mice at 1:10 AM on September 13, 2013


I was all yay, what a heart warming story, till I found out who they defeated. For fuck's sake my country lost to freaking Afghanistan? I am pretty shocked even allowing for how bad we are at football.

Unbelievable ; _ ;
posted by viramamunivar at 1:14 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


It could be worse. You could be England.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:31 AM on September 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


It could be worse than England. You could be Scotland.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:35 AM on September 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wait, how does Kabul have an olympic stadium? Is there some alternative meaning of that term that I don't know?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:44 AM on September 13, 2013


Hey, they can dream.
posted by Segundus at 2:28 AM on September 13, 2013


Wait, how does Kabul have an olympic stadium? Is there some alternative meaning of that term that I don't know?

If they're talking about the Ghazi stadium (stupid NYT registration), it used to be execution grounds. More background about football in Afghanistan.
posted by ersatz at 2:57 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


You could be Scotland.

We can only hope that the shared national team can overcome the sectarian and political divides. After all, some say that the area is on a somewhat rocky road to becoming a truly independent and viable state that can rise above a history of intervene violence.
posted by jaduncan at 5:12 AM on September 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


It could be worse than England. You could be Scotland.

It could be even worse than Scotland. You could be Mexico.

Dos et cero!
posted by eriko at 6:29 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


It could be worse. You could be England.

Top of your qualifying group, with two home games to play? ;-) They might be playing ugly football, but plenty of teams would swap places with them.

Good thing it was football and not cricket or the Indians would be fingering their nukes right about now.

The Afghan cricket team is doing pretty well at the moment. They're beating teams like Netherlands, Scotland, Kenya (the better second-tier teams) and they just beat the Indian under-23 team. It's good to see.
posted by Infinite Jest at 7:45 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


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