Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, December 15th, 2017

AFF’s Victory in Aspiring Member Award

Afghanistan has been suffering from instability and hardships and mostly there are pieces of news that point at them; however, every now and then there are pieces of news that highlight some sort of optimism and hope. In one of such pieces of news on Wednesday, it was announced that Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) won the award for aspiring member association of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for 2017. The ceremony was held in Thailand where athletes from 47 countries had participated. The award is given to a Member Association in recognition of its professional administration and governance as well as its exceptional contribution to the development and promotion of the game at all levels within the country.
For Afghanistan, this achievement is very important as the country needs to play a determining role against instability, extremism and terrorism. It is imperative that Afghan authorities must comprehend that sport can be useful in development and peace because it strives for cooperation and unity. It brings nations together and urge them to come closer to one another. Different countries, in different international sports events have matches and compete one another and, in the process, push away the barriers that differentiate or divide them. Different international sports events are very much useful in bringing different countries culturally closer as well. In this way, it can provide opportunities to shun adversaries and open the prospects of peace and unity. 
At the same time, different types of sports can divert the attention of the people of a nation away from many social evils, such as drugs and terrorism. Youngsters who opt for any sort of sport do not mostly get caught in the quagmire of the drug addiction and the terrorists. The developed countries of the world use sports as one of the major factors that can play a comprehensive role in fighting the social evils. They even consider that sports can be used to promote development with a country. However, the underdeveloped and the developing countries have not been able to achieve much in this regard.
In Afghanistan, there are different types of sports that are played by the people in different parts of the country. Instability and disorder, however, influenced the growth of the sports in the country. Nonetheless, since the downfall of Taliban, efforts regarding the promotion of sports have intensified. And, there are certain games, in which Afghans have shown great talent and they have achieved international recognition. Among them football, cricket and taekwondo are the noteworthy ones.
Afghan football team won the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship 2013 for the first time by beating India. The cricket team on the other hand qualified for World Cup Cricket 2015 and it also qualified for T20 World Cup 2016 and even reached to the Super 10 round. Currently, Afghan cricket team returned home after winning different trophies at international level. Afghan taekwondo players have also achieved international distinctions.
Keeping in mind the preparations and the facilities that the Afghan sportsmen get, it is really encouraging to see such great achievements by Afghan sportsmen. Afghan government requires doing more so as to facilitate different sportsmen in their respective fields. The sportsmen of the other countries enjoy all sorts of facilities that are required; therefore, they are able to show their distinction in different games. 
On the other hand, our sportsmen also require support from the people. The love and support of the people fill the hearts of the players with motivation and determination and, therefore, they are able to perform at their best.
Our country is largely suffering from the influence of war, instability and disorder. The enemies of the nation have nothing else to offer except bloodshed and tyranny. The people are totally fed up of the situation and they want entertainment and amusement. And, they can achieve all these only through sports. Recently, it has been observed that what the politicians have not been able to achieve, what the sportsmen have been able to acquire. They have brought the down-trodden people of Afghanistan a ray of hope and a realization of the fact that the Afghans are capable of performing well in all fields of life. Politics has only brought rifts within the people and has divided them on ethnic lines, but the games have saved their unity and their honor.
It is really important for the authorities in Afghanistan to understand that the games and sportsmen have a higher role than just playing games; therefore, they should be given due attention and they should be provided with the facilities so that they are able to compete with other nations of the world. They have proved that having less facilities and opportunities they are able to perform very well, so if they are given facilities they will really polish their abilities and will be able to perform extraordinarily on international level. In short, if sports are promoted properly, they have the potential to divert the attentions of the people towards positive activities and will be able to keep them away from the social evils.