The partnership between the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) and hummel started in 2010, with the purpose of giving the Afghan people a brighter future through the beautiful game of football. It may only be a small part of the solution in a country where people face many challenges, but that only makes it even more important to encourage sports, peace and respect.
In hummel, we want to live out our vision to ‘Change the World Through Sport’ and the Afghan sponsorship is therefore a very important one. We are the first official sponsor of all the men’s and women’s Afghan National Football teams. The sponsorship provides sports equipment and support for the development of the National teams, including youth and grassroots teams.
The 2016 launch of a new football kit includes a world premier
In 2016, the partnership introduced a new football jersey for the National teams and as part of the women’s we made an optional baselayer hijab. The football kit gives women who choose to wear a hijab a more modern look, and makes the hijab easier to wear while playing this tough sport. Browse the Afghanistan collection.
For hummel owner, Christian Stadil, the work with the Afghanistan Football Federation is an ongoing commitment to Change the World Through Sport: “We make partnerships with teams and clubs with a story to tell, like Afghanistan. We try to meet the Afghan people where they are, and right now that is also by helping women play football comfortably, with or without a hijab”.
More than 10.000 footballers in Afghanistan
The partnership strives to do more than provide quality football kits and gear for the National teams. hummel has supported numerous women’s and football events in Afghanistan, all with the purpose of changing Afghan lives through sport. This includes events such as the International women’s day football festival in Kabul, the Peace festival, certifying more than 100 men and women as coaches, and the support of the participation in the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship. The purpose of these events and initiatives is to develop and raise awareness of Afghan football.
Today, Afghanistan has a thriving football league both for men and women, including youth and grassroots teams which amounts to over 10.000 people. The sport is increasingly known as a sport that brings peace, unity and happiness in the Afghan society.
How it all started
In 2012, we expanded the scope and became sponsor of the first Afghanistan Premier League (APL). The league consists of eight teams, making it one of the biggest sports events in Afghanistan, bringing people together from all over the country.
A big milestone in the partnership was in 2013, when the Afghanistan National men’s team played a historical match against Pakistan and won 3-0.
Watch the celebration here.
Another significant achievement was when the AFF won the FIFA Fair Play award in 2013 for using football to encourage peace and solidarity. This progress was even further displayed when the men won the SAFF Championship in 2013 with a 2-0 result against India. This was one of the first times in Afghanistan’s history, where football made people come together to celebrate a victory despite different ethnic backgrounds.
The Afghanistan Women’s National Team – empowering women
In Kabul, Afghanistan in October 2010, a significant moment in history took place as a match between the Afghanistan National women’s team and a team of female NATO troops was played.
For once, scoring goals was not the point of the match. Instead, the match served to raise awareness of women’s sports and managed to introduce the Afghanistan’s women’s team on an international level. Click here to watch the NATO match. The match sparked global awareness and gave the women of Afghanistan a voice, allowing them to gain more support and furthermore igniting an interest amongst local female players to join the football movement. Today, Afghanistan has a women’s National team and youth National teams on several different age levels, all of which are being led by female coaches.
The progress of women’s football is not only happening in the capital city, but also in different provinces of Afghanistan, where many women are taking active part in the development of women’s football. Specific Girl Power initiatives by the women’s team have empowered women to follow their dreams and passions.
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Read more about how we started the coorperation here.