Mission Accomplished: Football Turf in Kabul

KABUL, Afghanistan – As part of the FIFA Goal project the construction of a new artificial turf pitch in Afghanistan is a fact. In a country shattered by 30 years of violence this achievement represents a milestone which has been celebrated with an official inauguration. The Dutch company GreenFields, a leading synthetic turf company, has completed the installation of this brand new football field at the future Olympic Centre in Kabul. Although football is immensely popular in Afghanistan, it goes without saying that it has taken a back seat as Afghanistan struggles to overcome decades of conflict which destroyed much of the country’s sporting infrastructure. Football in Afghanistan is a challenge at the best of times and especially for women a risky venture. Although there still is a long way to go, the realization of the new 3rd generation synthetic grass football pitch is a positive development for football in Afghanistan and represents a momentum for progress.

Hugo de Vries, CEO of GreenFields, said: “GreenFields could not be more proud that we have been chosen for this FIFA Goal project. Developments in Kabul are positive, but it still has a long way to go and a multitude of difficult challenges will have to be faced. As sports can play a key role in creating a safe space and encourage social change we do hope that, although this football field is a relatively small step, it will have a substantial contribution to a peaceful, prosperous, and stable Afghanistan.”

Women Football in Afghanistan

The Afghanistan national team, the national youth teams, and local football clubs will use the field the whole year through for training sessions as well as games. The new field might even help to change the perception of women’s place in Afghanistan’s society as it is planned for women football teams to train and play on the football field as well. Nowadays women must still play, literally, behind closed doors. On the new pitch they would play in the open, on a safe and high quality surface, offering a possibility to forge new paths for women.