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National heroes

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Afghan soccer team had registered landmark victory in the semi-final of South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Cup Championship while hammering Sri Lanka. Afghanistan is all set to repeat the previous edition’s final with the time-tested friend India. After beating Sri Lanka with 5-0 the Afghan team to face India in the SAFF Championship on January 3. Since beginning of the championships, eyes of every South Asian are fixed on the Afghan team because Afghanistan is known as war-torn country where militants are causing mayhem and destruction. The victories in the championship had brought smile on the gloomy face of over 30 million Afghans who were desperately waiting for something good to get escape from the haunting memories, even for a day or two.

Like others, this championship does matter for Afghans because the war-weary nation wants to show the true image—an image that is all about inspiration and peace and had nothing to do with violence and extremism. Afghanistan has long been in headlines for extremism and terrorism. The war that is engineered by some regional and global players had not only claimed lives of thousands of Afghans but also eroded the soft image that this nation had built before 1979. This nation was called moderate at the time when most of the South Asian nations were striving for their independence and basic rights. It took centuries to gain this position. But, then all was gone in just a few years with no trace just history.

Therefore, the coach and soccer players are the true heroes for this nation. They stunned not only the South Asian nations but the world too. Like other sports, football has also restarted its journey at the national and regional levels after ouster of the Taliban from power in 2001. However, it had grown tremendously in short span of time. Cricket team had also excelled. Afghans have won silver, bronze and gold medals in different sports and events. The sportsmen and women had projected an outstanding picture of the country. Whenever, western and eastern media written something positive about Afghanistan, the sportsmen and women had role in it.

To thank them, the nation as well as the government shall encourage them. No matter our national team win or lose the SAFF championship, we shall greet them with open arms. Winning and losing are a part of life. As far as the government is concerned, it should provide all necessary facilities and perks to the sportsmen and women. State-of-the-art stadiums and gymnasiums shall be built in all provinces of the country.