UK edge past Afghanistan in final of Kabul rugby event
The British Embassy, in partnership with the Resolute Support Mission and the Afghanistan Rugby Federation (ARF), organised the rugby event in Kabul on Friday.
The purpose of the tournament was to promote the ARF’s efforts to develop rugby in schools in Afghanistan and to celebrate the start of the Rugby World Cup.
Three Afghan Teams as well as teams representing the UK, US, Australia, France and a mixed international squad took part in the tournament. All the games were played to a high standard.
The UK team won the tournament, beating the ‘Afghan Seniors’ team 2-1 in a highly entertaining final. The French team finished third.
Since the ARF’s establishment in 2011, rugby has really grown in Afghanistan. The ARF has high ambitions to build on this promising start by encouraging school children across Afghanistan to play rugby.
British Ambassador Karen Pierce CMG said: “The impressive performances of the Afghan players demonstrate how far the game has developed in Afghanistan in a very short space of time.
Speaking before the tournament, ARF President Mohammad Mansoor Majid said: “We managed to form a national team, participated in many international tournaments and organised a few domestic tournaments, but still there is a lot more to do.”
He added the majority of Afghans knew little about rugby and just called it Melon Ball Game. “This means we have to do a lot more to make rugby one of the most played sports in Afghanistan.”
This year the Rugby World Cup is being hosted in England with games also being played in Cardiff. Twenty nations, excluding Afghanistan, are taking part in the mega event.
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