Afghan team plays Norway Cup
18 boys from Faryab Province got an experience of a lifetime when the
Norwegian Defence Minister invited them to the international youth
football tournament Norway Cup. Norway Cup is one of the largest
football tournaments in the world, gathering over 30 000 players from
Before the cup started, Faryab United was invited to a training camp with the Norwegian team Høybråten og Stovner IL. Despite the language barrier, the teenagers soon made good friends.
- A football is all you need to bring people from different backgrounds together! The boys connected quickly, through sign language, some English, and an interpreter. It has been a very positive experience, says coordinator for Høybråten og Stovner IL, Jan Erik Moe.
The coordinator for Faryab United, Abdul Wahab Majidi, agrees with Moe. He says that Norway Cup serves an important mission apart from being a wonderful sports event:
- It also represents a bridge for exchange of information and friendship across borders. These boys have lived with conflict and war their whole lives. This is their first trip outside Afghanistan, and it is a huge experience for them to come here and make friends from all over the world, he says.
Defense Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen says the visit is an important step towards building safety and stability in Afghanistan.
- To achieve this, we have to gain the trust of the population, and one way of building mutual trust, is through interaction with each other on the football field, the Minister says.
Faryab United made it all the way to the A-finals at Norway Cup.
Faryab United and their Norwegian friendship team, Høybråten og Stovner IL.
Photo: Svein Øvregård.
Norwegian Defense Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen meets the Faryab United players.
Photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold/Forsvaret