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US, UK, FIFA greet Afghans on victory

US, UK, FIFA greet Afghans on victory

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Sep 12, 2013 - 15:22

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The United States, the UK and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) on Thursday congratulated Afghanistaninfo-icon football team on winning the nation’s first international soccer championship.

The Afghan team bested India 2-0 to win its first international competition on Wednesday, the South Asian Football Federation Championship, which sparked a countrywide celebrations, with Afghan players dancing on the pitch with the Afghan flag draped on their shoulders.

US Ambassador to Afghanistan, James Cunningham in a statement said he congratulated Afghanistan on behalf of his country and the American people on South Asian Football Federation victory.

“When the Talibaninfo-icon ruled, most sportsinfo-icon were forbidden in Afghanistan. Now, a professional soccer league flourishes, womeninfo-icon and girls are engaged in sports of all kinds”, the envoy said.

 “This is a testament to the determination of the Afghan people to overcome decades of violence and build a better, peaceful societyinfo-icon where the human spirit can soar and success is measured on the playing field, not the battle field.”

The UK embassy in Kabul issued a statement, congratulating Afghans over the historic victory.

Meanwhile, FIFA vice-president Ali Bin Hussein also congratulated the Afghan team for their tough and awe-inspiring victory in South Asian Football Federation’s (SAFF) Championship.

The Prince of Jordan, who couldn’t hide his glee at the sight of the Afghans lifting the trophy said, “Heartfelt congratulations to my friends and colleagues in Afghanistan on winning the South Asian Football Federation’s Championship and scoring their first international football title.”

Hussein quoted by Goal Nepal magazine said, “The progress of Afghan football is an inspiration to us all.”

Restaurants around the country were packed with fans following the game on TV, as celebratory gunfire was heard in Kabul after the victory.

President Hamid Karzai hugged the players on arriving home and congratulated them on winning the championship.

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