Nadia Nadim on women’s football in Afghanistan one year on from Taliban takeover
Nadia Nadim, the international women’s football ambassador, talks about the life following the fall of the Taliban
The International Women’s Day is on 20 March, and the world is a whole lot smaller than it was seven years ago.
On the eve of this year’s International Women’s Day, Nadia Nadim, the international women’s football ambassador and now founder of Women’s Football International, sits in front of us in her office at the Firdausi Hotel in Kabul, looking as if everything is okay. We are sitting at a desk, having just had a meeting with her about a new video that she wants to create about women’s football in Afghanistan.
The Women’s Football International project aims to make a change in the Afghan arena. This is not something that any Afghan football club has any intention of adopting. I know this because I have talked to many teams across the country about the problem of women’s football. They don’t want to be involved. They think it is not going to happen.
But I am in a good position to tell them, “You are not coming when we say you are coming. We are going to make you.”
Women’s Football International was born in July 2010, but the idea actually began back when I was studying for my MBA in the United States, in the year 2000. I was working at the University of Central Florida and my husband wanted to take me to Afghanistan. At the time, there was a lot of turmoil and bloodshed in the country.
The men were running around and doing their own thing, and the situation was complicated. I had a friend at the university, who was a great football fan, but my husband had a different perspective on women’s football. At the time, it was seen as a sport