2008 Afghan Sports News Archives
latest Afghan sports news,
Reports filed by Abdullah Qazi
December 9, 2008: Afghanistan Water Polo Adds
The Dream of Afghanistan Athletics Press Release
After a search that produced applications from high-profile coaches from
around the world, Afghanistan Water Polo has announced the addition of two
Southern California-based coaches to its staff:
Bahram Hojreh, of Long Beach, CA, brings a winning
history as a coach and player to Afghanistan Water Polo. Currently head
coach and director of Los Al Water Polo, in Los Alamitos, CA, Hojreh has
previously led successful water polo programs at Orange Coast College in
Costa Mesa, CA, where he was the head coach for the men’s team, and at
University High School in Irvine, CA, where he led women’s water polo.
As a coach, Hojreh’s teams have won six national championships and have
produced over 100 All-Americans.
As a player, Hojreh played water polo for legendary coach Ted Newland at
the University of California - Irvine, where the team produced national
top-4 NCAA Division 1 finishes 1994–1998. Hojreh continues to play for the
Adult Masters / Premier team at Los Al Water Polo.
Hojreh earned a BA from the University of California - Irvine, in 1999
and a MA in Kinesiology from California State University - Long Beach, in
Amr Soli, of La Mesa, CA, has been coaching water polo for over 20 years.
Soli is currently president and head coach of the San Diego Suns water polo
club in La Mesa, and has coached at San Diego Mesa College and American
University, where he led his teams to several championship appearances,
including first place finishes in the Pacific Coast Conference, Lebanese
League and Egyptian League.
Before moving to the United States in 2000, Soli played water polo in
Europe, qualifying for the World Cup in Barcelona, Spain, in 1986. Soli
brings his international experience and recognized ability to inspire
athletes to attain high competitive levels to Afghanistan Water Polo.
“Bahram and Amr were selected because they present the right fit,” said
Jeremy Piasecki, executive director of Afghanistan Water Polo.
“Bahram has proven he can build a very competitive program from the
ground up and bring us to a level to compete internationally. And Amr has
tremendous experience and the ability to coach novice athletes to a high
level of play,” continued Piasecki. “Most importantly, they both have a real
passion to build this program. We feel very fortunate to have them.”
Recently sanctioned by the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee,
Afghanistan Water Polo was created to develop and promote the oldest team
sport in the modern Olympics in a country where sports take a distant place
behind the realities of war. With an ultimate goal of sending an Afghanistan
national water polo team to the 2016 Summer Olympics, Afghanistan Water Polo
is busy developing quality programs to establish Afghanistan’s presence on
the international stage.
Afghanistan Water Polo plans to bring teams to the United States to train
and compete in early 2009.
Afghanistan Water Polo relies heavily on volunteers and donors. For
further information, or to find out how you can help, contact Afghanistan
Olympic Dream at 760-451-1783, or e-mail at
December 7, 2008: Afghans win Homeless World
front of 5,000 screaming fans in Australia today, Afghanistan won the
Homeless World Cup by outscoring Russia in the final game with a score of
5-4. The Homeless World Cup, a brainchild of Scottish entrepreneur Mel
Young, is an annual, international football (soccer) tournament. Currently
it is in its sixth year. Some 500 players representing 56 nations
participated this year. According to the tournament's official website, the
goal of the tournament is to unite "teams of people who are homeless and
excluded to take a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent their country
and change their lives forever." For more on the rules, and history, check
October 26, 2008: Afghan cricket team gets
funding from the International Cricket Council
Today, as a result of their recent successes, the head of Afghanistan's Cricket
Federation, Allah Daad Noori, told the British based news service, Reuters, that
the International Cricket Council (ICC) has pledged to give Afghanistan's
cricket team between five to six hundred thousand dollars for the coming five
years. The ICC is the international governing body for cricket. Afghanistan went
undefeated in two World Cup qualifying tournaments this year, the second of
which was the ICC World Cricket League Division 4 in Tanzania, where they
secured a place in the Division 3 competition in Argentina in January 2009.
October 11, 2008: Afghans another step closer to the 2011 Cricket World Cup
Afghanistan defeated Hong Kong today and got their fifth consecutive win in the
World Cricket League Division Four games. Hong Kong is now 4 and 1. The top two finishers of this division
will move on to a six-team World Cricket League Division 3 in Argentina in January 2009.
After that, the top two teams will join 10 more countries in the United Arab Emirates to
play off for four berths in the 2011 World Cup. The World Cup will be jointly hosted by Bangladesh,
Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka. Allah Daad Noori, Afghanistan's Cricket Federation President has
been very supportive of the team. After their win over Fiji on October 5th, he called the team
to congratulate them and give each player $200 US.
September 24, 2008: A New Sport Comes to
Grab a newspaper or browse through
your favorite international news web site and you will find plenty of bad
news coming from Afghanistan. On any given day, you will find news about
bombings, abductions, and abuse of women and children. Luckily, not all the
news coming out of Afghanistan is bad, especially when it comes to sports
news. Read More.
August 31, 2008: Afghan Paralympics team off to Beijing
Afghanistan's five member
Paralympics delegation left for China today in order to participate in the
2008 Beijing Paralympics games. The Paralympics are elite sport events
for athletes from six different disability groups. The Paralympics are
usually held after the Olympics and so this year, it will be from September
6th to September 15th. The Paralympic Games are governed by the
International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The official sponsor of this
year's Afghan Paralympics delegation is the Alokozay Foundation.
August 28, 2008: Rohullah Nikpai Receives Hero Welcome
Rohullah Nikpai, the first Afghan
to win a medal in the Olympic games was given a red carpet welcome today
(August 28, 2008). Nikpai was greeted at the airport by vice president Karim
Khalili. He was then driven from the airport to Afghanistan's national
stadium in Kabul where he was greeted by a crowd of 5,000 cheering fans. The
crowd chanted slogans such as "Nikpai, the pride of Afghanistan", and "Long
live Afghanistan". Vice president Khalili stated that "it is a matter of
pride for all of us, for the government and the people of Afghanistan that
this war-ravaged country was able to win a medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic
Games". The event was even broadcasted on state television. After winning
his medal, Nikpai stated: "I hope this medal can be a message of peace in
August 20, 2008: Afghanistan wins first ever
Twenty one year old Rohullah Nikpai made
history today by winning Afghanistan's first Olympic medal. He defeated world
champion Juan Antonio Ramos of Spain to take the bronze in the men's under
58-kilogram taekwondo competition. Nikpai even got a call from President Hamid
Karzai. According to the president's spokesman, Humayun Hamidzada, President
Karzai awarded Nikpai a house at the government's expense. Also, the Associated
Press reported today that: "Ehsanullah Bayat, chairman of the Afghan Wireless
Communication Company, earlier announced that he would award any Afghan athlete
who won an Olympic bronze $10,000, along with $50,000 for a gold medal and
$25,000 for a silver, said Khalid Andisha, a spokesman for AWCC."
August 16, 2008: Kabul-Jalalabad cycle race
Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN) reported on Friday, August 15th that Afghanistan's first-ever
Kabul-Jalalabad cycle race (also known as the Ghazi Amanullah Khan Cycle Race)
began. An official of Afghanistan's Olympic Committee said that the race
will be 147 kilometers, and that it would begin from the Istiqlal monument
in the Pul-i-Mahmud Khan area of Kabul and end in the capital of Nangarhar
province (Jalalabad). Etisalat, one of the largest telecommunications companies
in the world is the sponsor of the event. Around 150 cyclists are taking
part in the race.