How Afghanistan women’s football teammade it to Australia
The first-ever woman to make it to the national team of Afghanistan has been invited for an official visit to Australia.
Noora Omidi is on her way to Adelaide to meet her new teammates and to learn more about the national team.
Since the Afghan women’s team was formed in 1999, it has made the journey to Australia’s shores. Only four of the original 26 players were considered successful enough to make the trip to Australia.
Omidi, who turns 20 this month, was not among them. The team she was playing with back in Afghanistan has since disbanded, leaving her without a national team to compete for.
It didn’t take long before she found another Afghan team, who invited her to join them for a trip to Australia. The trip, which will take place next month, is being sponsored by the Australian government.
“I’ve always been dreaming of going to Australia, whether I was playing football or playing music,” she told ABC. However, she had never met her Australian teammates until two weeks ago, when she attended a friendly in Canberra with some of her male teammates.
It was a shock then to discover her Australian teammates knew the women who had played with her in an Afghan team years ago.
“They didn’t actually know that I’m still playing with them now,” she said.
Omidi is hoping to see her colleagues for the first time this month, when she goes to Adelaide to play in a friendly against the Australian team.
“They are a very, very good team to play against,” she said. “They are very intelligent too. There will be a lot of girls, and then there will be boys as well and I’m sure they will have a fantastic game.”
The friendly match is being sponsored by the Australian government and will take place in the Adelaide Oval on October 23.