Producer and Director of FIFA TV Story: Afghanistan take historic strides
I was contacted by London based company called ‘Pitch International’ who won the rights of the new FIFA weekly magazine show called ‘FIFA Football’ in 2015. They asked me to produce a story about Afghanistan football.Afghanistan first entered FIFA World Cup qualifying for the 2006 tournament. In their first three attempts, they faced elimination after two ‘home’-and-away matches, having scored two goals and conceded twenty one goals in six matches.
In June 2015 Afghanistan national team grabbed their first ever victory in the World Cup qualifying with a 1-0 win against Cambodia. Due to the turmoil in their country Afghanistan Football Federation decided to have their four AFC 2018 World Cup qualifying ‘home’ matches to be staged in Iranian cities of Mashhad (near Afghan border) and one match in Tehran against Japan.
The interesting fact is that the majority of the estimated 3-million Afghan citizens living in Iran are there illegally and as such they live in hiding and normally are not seen in large groups to avoid deportation.
This feature illustrates how the Afghan team, largely made up from Afghan diaspora, are giving their nation and those living in exile in Iran a sense of pride. As expected Tehran’s Azadi stadium filled by Afghan football fans.
I filmed and interviewed two Afghan players who had left the home country as a child to live in Europe but they were back to play for their national team.