In a tournament organized by the National Olympic Committee of Afghanistan, a Kabul-based team representing the country kicked off their campaign with a one-naught victory over Pakistan.
Teams from Tajikistan, Iran and Pakistan are participating in the five-day tournament. India, which was also invited, cancelled its participation in "the last minute"; apparently in protest of the abduction and subsequent execution of an Indian engineer by the Taliban.
The tournament was held at the Ghazi Stadium, an infamous venue used by the Taliban to conduct public executions. Being the first of its kind in almost three decades, this tournament was watched by 10,000 excited fans. It was also aired on TV.
The Afghanistan national soccer team was formed in 1933 and was registered with FIFA in 1948. In the same year it played its first international match against Luxembourg which it lost 6-0. However, the team remained dormant due to war and political instability till 2002 when it played in the Asian Games held in Busan, Korea.
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