How Afghanistan women’s football teammade it to Australia
The young Afghan women’s football team from Kabul arrived on Thursday, and were welcomed with handshakes and hugs by Australian Socceroo Sam Kerr and his teammates.
It was an emotional night for the girls, who were in tears at the airport, but also an emotional night for Afghanistan, because this was the first time the team had ever visited Australia.
Sam Kerr said the girls were so excited to play a match in front of their home crowd.
“I don’t think it would have been quite the same if we hadn’t,” he said.
“They are getting a whole crowd there and I know they’ve got all their family there, and it’s amazing.
“It’s been a good experience for them, but at the end of the day it’s up to the Afghan national team to take those players to Australia and put the Afghan team out on the world stage.”
The girls were welcomed to Australia with a traditional Afghan wedding ceremony organised by the Australian Embassy in Kabul.
They were then taken through the streets of Kabul on the bus and were made to wave to the crowd.
Once in Sydney the players were taken to the Westfield Carlingford shopping centre where they were introduced to their fans.
Sam Kerr said the girls were already excited about their match against Australia and getting the support of their fans.
“This is going to be a really cool experience for them, they get to see some of the Australian football scene, and really get an understanding of who they are and what they stand for,” he said.
“It’s been great to see them get introduced to the Australian media a bit, it’s been really, really positive for them, and also for us to introduce the country to them.
“We’ve gone on to bring them to Australia, and Australia is their home country, so there’s not much more we can do.”