hummel presents new Afghanistan football shirt with a hijab
The launch of hummel’s new Afghanistan national team shirt is another huge step forward in our brand’s mission to Change the World through Sport.
It also represents an historic first for women’s football in Afghanistan.
The women’s kit features an integrated hijab in a baselayer shirt that enables the country’s female footballers to be play while being covered head to toe.
No individual understand the significance of this move better than Khalida Popal, the former captain of the Afghanistan women’s team.
She made over 20 appearances for the national team before leaving Afghanistan to ensure her continued safety.
A knee injury brought Khalida’s international career to a premature end, but she remains one of the most influential figures in the women’s game in Afghanistan and has worked hand-in-hand with hummel and the Afghanistan Football Federation in developing this new shirt.
“It was a huge honour to captain my country but it was an even bigger honour to be seen as a role model and an inspiration for thousands of young girls and women in Afghanistan,” she said.
Read Khalida's full story here.
The design of the new shirt also incorporates the very best of Afghanistan’s rich and varied tradition and heritage.
“From the outset it was clear that the shirt was enormously significant,” says hummel designer Paul Fitzgerald. “I asked Khalida to think of something that inspires her about Afghanistan and she told me about the Afghan mountains – that was really my starting point.”
The design of the shirt reflects the beauty of those mountains while the patterns and style incorporated into the shirt symbolise the wood carving and calligraphy excellence of the master craftsmen of Kabul. An additional feature is the embossed lion motif symbolizing the nickname for the national teams – the Afghan Lions.
Read more about the design of the collection here.
For hummel owner, Christian Stadil, the work with the Afghanistan Football Federation is indicative of an ongoing commitment to give the underdog top-billing.
“We don’t sponsor the biggest teams in the world, but we make partnerships with teams and clubs with a story to tell, like Afghanistan, he says”. “We try to meet the Afghan people where they are, and right now that is by helping the women play football with or without a hijab”.
This launch is merely the latest chapter in this inspirational tale.
See the whole collection here.
Footage from Afghanistan by Emilie Ladefoged