MPs to confer $90,000 reward on footballers
KABUL (PAN): The Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of parliament, on Saturday announced a 5 million afghanis (over $90,000) reward for the national soccer team for clinching the South Asian Football Federation Championship in Kathmandu.
Thousands of people welcomed home the champions on Friday, when President Hamid Karzai embraced the players on arrival at the Kabul International Airport from Nepal, where they beat India 2-0 to win the major international event.
Afghanistan outclassed India 2-0 to claim the South Asian Football Federation Championship in Kathmandu on Wednesday, prompting tens of thousands of joyous countrymen to pour onto streets.
Elated by the triumph, Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi told the house the footballers had brought home well-deserved laurels after several years. “When they lifted the cup at stake, all Afghans forgot ethnic and linguistic biases and shouted with one voice: Long live Afghanistan…”
He said lawmakers would honour the winners on Monday when the team would be invited to the assembly. The speaker, announcing to give the team his one-month salary in reward, asked members to present their three-day pay to the footballers.
Legislators responded to Ibrahimi’s proposal with thunderous applause. He directed the parliamentary panel concerned to collect the money from members. The speaker’s monthly salary is 272,000 afghanis, while each member’s pay works out at 195,000 afghanis.
MPs Mohammad Hasan Nasiri and Naqibullah Faiq hoped the team’s success help strengthen national unity. They urged high-ranking government employees to follow in their footsteps and donate one-day pay to the team.
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