Afghanistan national football team

The Afghanistan national football team (Persian: تیم ملی فوتبال افغانستان Tīm-e Millī-e Fūtbāl-e Afghānestān) is the national football team of Afghanistan and is controlled by the Afghanistan Football Federation. Founded in 1922, they played their first international game against Iran in Kabul, 1941. Afghanistan then joined FIFA in 1948 and the AFC in 1954, as one of the founding members. They play their home games at the Ghazi National Olympic Stadium in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. In 2013, Afghanistan won the 2013 SAFF Championship and earned the "FIFA Fair Play Award". Afghanistan has never qualified for the AFC Asian Cup.[5]

Afghanistan
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)The Lions of Khorasan[1]
AssociationAfghanistan Football Federation
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Sub-confederationCAFA (Central Asia)
CaptainZohib Islam Amiri
Most capsZohib Islam Amiri (67)
Top scorerFaysal Shayesteh (9)
Balal Arezou (9)
Home stadiumGhazi Stadium
FIFA codeAFG
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 151 Increase 7 (4 April 2024)[2]
Highest122 (April 2014)
Lowest204 (January 2003)
First international
 Afghanistan 0–0 Iran 
(Kabul, Afghanistan; 25 August 1941)[3]
Biggest win
 Bhutan 1–8 Afghanistan 
(New Delhi, India; 7 December 2011)
Biggest defeat
 Turkmenistan 11–0 Afghanistan 
(Ashgabat, Turkmenistan; 19 November 2003)
CAFA Nations Cup
Appearances1 (first in 2023)
Best resultGroup stage (2023)
SAFF Championship
Appearances7 (first in 2003)
Best resultChampions (2013)
AFC Challenge Cup
Appearances3 (first in 2006)
Best resultFourth place (2014)
Medal record

History edit

Early history edit

 
Afghanistan national football team in the 1920s

Formed in 1922 and affiliated to FIFA since 1948, the Afghanistan Football Federation was one of the founding members of the Asian Football Confederation in 1954.[6]

The first football club established in the country, Mahmoudiyeh F.C., was founded in 1934. Three years later the team traveled to India and took part in 18 games of which they won 8, lost 9 and drew 1. The second football club founded was Ariana Kabul F.C. which was established in 1941. This team traveled to Tehran, Iran upon invitation, played 3 games, winning one game and losing two.

Afghanistan's only appearance and first FIFA international match was at the Olympic Games football tournament in the 1948 Summer Olympic Games when they played Luxembourg on 26 July 1948 and lost 6–0. Prior to 2002, Afghanistan was last seen on the international stage during the 1984 AFC Asian Cup qualification, with its last match lost 6–1 against Jordan on 20 September 1984. Afghanistan played no international games from 1984 to 2002, due to the latter years of the Soviet–Afghan War, civil war in Afghanistan (1992–1996), and the Taliban regime's ban on recreational activities, including football.[7]

2001–2010 edit

Following the demise of the Taliban regime, the Afghan national team eventually returned to the international arena in 2002, when they played South Korea in the Asian Games, losing 2–0. Afghanistan participated in their first international tournament in the 2003 SAFF Gold Cup where they lost all three group stage matches to India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Later in the same year, Afghanistan took part in the 2004 AFC Asian Cup qualification where they won against Kyrgyzstan but lost to Nepal and failed to make it to the next round. Afghanistan started its FIFA World Cup campaign for the first time in 2003 where they played Turkmenistan in 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification. They lost both matches in aggregate of 13–0. This was the first time Afghanistan participated in FIFA World Cup qualification though they had been affiliated since 1948. The team went to Pakistan to take part in the 2005 South Asian Football Federation Gold Cup, which they lost to the Maldives.[8]

 
Match scene between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan in a FIFA World Cup qualification match in Kabul, 2003

They also participated in the first edition of the AFC Challenge Cup in 2006, for which they drew both matches with Chinese Taipei and the Philippines with Afghan footballers Hafizullah Qadami and Sayed Maqsood Hashemi both scoring to produce a drawn result, and on their second world cup campaign in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification were eliminated by Syria. In the SAFF Championship 2008 Afghanistan lost to Bhutan but drew with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Afghanistan entered the second round of the AFC Challenge Cup in 2008,[9] by winning in group D of the AFC Challenge Cup Qualification, drawing with Bangladesh and winning against Kyrgyzstan. In the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, Afghanistan lost all group matches to India, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. In 2009 SAFF Championship Afghanistan lost all its matches to Maldives, India and Nepal. Hashmatullah Barakzai scored Afghanistan's only goal against Maldives in that loss.[10]

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification edit

Afghanistan competed in their third World Cup qualifying campaign playing the first leg of their first match against Palestine in Tajikistan due to security reasons, which they lost, and the second leg of the match in Palestine which they drew with Balal Arezou scoring, meaning they failed to advance to the second round and were eliminated.

2011 SAFF Championship edit

 
Players are celebrating after winning their 2011 SAFF Championship Semi-final against Nepal

In 2011 SAFF Championship Afghanistan defeated Bhutan 8–1, the 2nd biggest victory in the history of the Afghanistan football team. In this match, Balal Arezou scored the only hat-trick of the competition with 4 goals and the team scored the quickest goal of the tournament through Ata Yamrali in the third minute. It was Afghanistan's first Semi-final. In the Semi-final of the tournament, the Afghans faced Nepal whom they beat 1–0 in extra time with the only goal scored by Balal Arezou in the 101st minute. It was the first win of Afghanistan over Nepal. In the final, Afghanistan played India to whom they lost 4–0.

2012 AFC Challenge Cup edit

Afghanistan defeated Bhutan 5–0 in 2012 AFC Challenge Cup qualification. In the first leg, they beat Bhutan 3–0 with Sidiq Walizada scoring all 3 goals, and 2–0 in the second leg. In the second qualification round, Afghanistan lost to Nepal and North Korea, whilst beating Sri Lanka but failed to qualify for the next stage.

Afghan Premier League edit

For the first time in the football history of Afghanistan the AFF announced a league where 8 teams will compete against each other. The league was established in 2012 with the first season running through September and October of that year. 8 teams were concurrently established in 2012 to become the inaugural competitors.[11]

Players for the league were found through a reality television show called Maidan e Sabz ("Green Field").[12] The concept came from the Afghanistan Football Federation and the Afghanistan-based MOBY Group, which owns a number of TV channels and radio stations and is the largest media group in the country. MOBY Group channels will broadcast matches. Players were voted onto teams by a jury and by the television audience. Eight teams of 18 players, one from every region, were formed.[13]

The Afghan High Peace Council has praised the creation and development of the League as an, "opportunity to bring peace and stability" to Afghanistan.[11]

2013 SAFF Championship winners edit

 
Hamidullah Karimi with the SAFF Championship trophy after their win against India

On 20 August 2013 before the 2013 SAFF Championship Afghanistan played Pakistan in a FIFA approved friendly for the first time in 36 years. This was also the first time on home ground after a decade which ended with a 3–0 victory over Pakistan with goals from Sandjar Ahmadi, Ahmad Hatifi and Maruf Mohammadi.[14]

Afghanistan entered the 2013 SAFF Championship as the highest ranked team by FIFA in the tournament placed at 139th. Afghanistan started the campaign with a 3-goal victory over Bhutan, with goals from Amiri also known as Afghanistan's best ever player, Azadzoy and Barakzai. The second match again ended with a 3–1 victory over Sri Lanka with goals from Rafi, Amiri and Barakzai. The Semi-final of the tournament was the repeat of last year's edition with Afghanistan again defeating Nepal with a solitary goal of Sandjar Ahmadi, that took Afghanistan in to the final of the tournament against India once again. Mansur Faqiryar of Afghanistan showed an outstanding goalkeeping performance by saving two back to back penalty kicks from Nepal in the last minutes of the match. The Final match of the tournament saw the 2011 SAFF Championship finalists again at Dashrath Stadium Nepal, where Afghanistan outplayed the defending champions India by 2 goals.[15] Afghanistan showed an outstanding performance. Goals from Azadzoy and Sandjar Ahmadi in each half of the game put the Afghan football team in front, to claim their first SAFF Championship title in their history.[16] Mansur Faqiryar was named the best player of the tournament, for his outstanding goal keeping skills throughout the tournament.

AFC Challenge Cup 2014 edit

In the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup, Afghanistan did well to reach the Semi-final, losing to the eventual champions Palestine, 2–0. They finished their campaign in fourth spot, the country's highest finishing place in the short term the cup has existed, losing to Maldives on a penalty shoot out: (7–8) after a 1–1 draw for third spot of the competition. On 10 June 2014 Afghanistan Football Federation moved from South Asian Football Federation SAFF to the CAFF. At the 2014 Ballon D'or ceremony, the Afghanistan Football Federation won the FIFA Fair Play Award. Afghanistan was honored with the award for the outstanding performance of the Afghanistan football during the year, despite the chaos of war and difficult political situations the country is facing. FIFA made a statement and posted on its website that "Following a year of remarkable achievement in grassroots level football, building infrastructure to further develop football throughout the country and nurturing a professional league despite enduring over a decade of disorder stemming from war, Afghanistan has been presented the 2013 FIFA Fair Play Award."

2018 FIFA World Cup qualification edit

 
Afghan national team before the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Japan, Azadi Stadium

On 9 February 2015, it was confirmed that the AFF signed a new coach for the national team. German-Bosnian trainer Slaven Skeledzic, signed a 1-year contract with the AFF. The new trainer had earlier coached the under 17 and under 19 teams in Germany. Skeledzic played football in Germany and coached youth teams in the Bundesliga.[17] On 27 April 2015 the AFF signed a contract with a new sponsor called Alokozay Group of Companies.[18]

Afghanistan began the qualification with a 6–0 loss against Syria. After this match they had to play against lower ranked Cambodia. They won their first World Cup qualification match in the history of Afghanistan football. In their 3rd match against Japan, Afghanistan lost again 6–0. Against Singapore they lost 1–0. They lost 5–2 against Syria. In October 2015 the AFF forced Skeledzic to resign from his position, after the 5–2 defeat against Syria. In November 2015, the Afghan National Team announced that Petar Segrt was appointed as the new head coach. With a new coach and new players Afghanistan won their 2nd match against Cambodia with 3–0. After the qualifications the SAFF Championship started.[19]

2015 SAFF Championship edit

This was the last edition of the SAFF Championship where the national team of Afghanistan would play. After the team was announced Afghanistan began preparing for the tournament. They were in a group of 4 countries which was: Maldives, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan. Afghanistan won the first match 4–0 against Bangladesh. After they won the second match against Bhutan 3–0 they qualified for the semi-finals. They won their last match against Maldives 4–1. In the semi-final Afghanistan had to play against Sri Lanka. The match ended in a 5–0 win for Afghanistan. Eventually after reaching the final quite easily, Afghanistan had to play against tournament favorite India. This was a replay of the finals in the 2011 and 2013 SAFF Championships. After 90 minutes the match ended in a 1–1 draw. After this moment India scored the 2–1 and won the 2015 SAFF Championship for the 7th time. Khaibar Amani was given the topscorer of the tournament award with 4 goals.

2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification edit

 
Afghan supporters watching their national team play against Japan during 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification in Azadi Stadium, Tehran.

When the tournament ended Afghanistan still had a chance to qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. After their second loss against Japan with a 5–0 defeat, Afghanistan had to win against Singapore to qualify as 4th best in their group. And so they did with a 2–1 win against Singapore and a qualification spot for the 3rd round of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

After the World Cup qualification ended, Afghanistan played some friendly games. In September against Lebanon which the game ended in a 2–0 win for Lebanon. In October against Malaysia which ended in a 1–1 draw. Before the match against Tajikistan Segrt called up 24 players which did not include the player Zohib Islam Amiri because the player previously made the decision to not play anymore for Afghanistan. But without letting Segrt know the AFF did included Amiri in the squad. Segrt disagreed with the AFF and made the decision to quit as the head coach of the national team. This was just after his 1-year anniversary with the national team. The match against Tajikistan ended in a 1–0 loss for Afghanistan. Anoush Dastgir led the team as interim coach for this match.

In February 2017, the AFF announced the signing of Otto Pfister as the new head coach of the national team.[20] Afghanistan played a friendly game against Singapore before the Asian Cup qualification match against Vietnam. Afghanistan won the game with 2–1 with goals from Mukhammad and Azadzoy.[21] The important Asian Cup qualification match against Vietnam ended in a 1–1 draw with a goal from Hassan Amin.[22] However, Afghanistan since then has suffered a serious setback. In the match against opponent Cambodia in Phnom Penh, which Afghanistan once defeated 4–0, Afghanistan had shocked by losing 0–1 against the same rival. Later, Afghanistan suffered second defeat, this time against Jordan, with the score 1–4 in Amman. Between two official qualification matches, Afghanistan also lost 0–2 to Oman in a friendly match. Afghanistan's late effort later only helped them to manage a 3–3 draw against Jordan, and Afghanistan was near the verge of being eliminated if they could not defeat Vietnam in the fifth match. At the crucial match against Vietnam in Hanoi, despite Afghanistan had nearly outplayed the host, failed efforts and bad lucks had prevented Afghanistan to seal a victory, as the match ended 0–0, effectively eliminated Afghanistan from the qualification while Vietnam went to seal the ticket to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup with Jordan, after 1–0 victory over Cambodia. Afghanistan played their last match against Cambodia who also failed to qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. The match ended in a 2–1 victory for Afghanistan.[23] After the match it was announced that Pfister will leave his job and that Anoush Dastgir will be the new head coach of the national team with the addition of Shabir Isoufi as the new assistant coach of Afghanistan.[24][25] On 13 July 2018 it was announced that Afghanistan will play a friendly game in Kabul, Afghanistan for the first time since 2013 against Palestine.[26]

Team image edit

Home stadium edit

 
The Ghazi Stadium in Kabul, which is now referred to as the Afghan Football Federation Stadium

Major football matches in Afghanistan are held at the Afghan Football Federation Stadium (popularly known as the Ghazi Stadium) in Kabul. It was built in 1923 during the reign of King Amanullah Khan, who is regarded as Ghazi (Hero) for the Afghan victory in the Third Anglo-Afghan War and gaining independence for his nation after the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919. The stadium has the capacity to house 25,000 people. The first international football match hosted there was played between Iran and Afghanistan in 1941 and ended as a draw, 0–0. Their 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification second leg match was played at the Ghazi Stadium against Turkmenistan which Afghanistan lost 2–0, having previously lost the first leg 11–0. The stadium is maintained and controlled by the Afghanistan Football Federation. The Afghan Premier League and other local football tournaments take place in the stadium. The Ghazi Stadium was renovated in 2011 after the entire ground was removed and replaced with new soil and artificial turf placed on top. The stadium now holds bigger sporting events. The proposed construction of a new national stadium was completed in the 2013/2014 season which cost 25 million euros.[27] In 2015, FIFA helped the AFF with the reconstruction of new youth teams and develop also women's football for the national team.[28]

Kit edit

Since 2002 until 2004, the Japanese sports brand ASICS was the sponsor for the national team. From 2005, the German sports brand Adidas was the sponsor of the national team until 2008. In 2009, the Danish sports brand Hummel equipped the national team. In 2011 the Afghanistan Football Federation had signed a four-year contract with Hummel, to provide both the men's and women's national teams with all of the sportswear from 2011 to 2015.[29] On 6 March 2015, the Afghan Football Federation signed a new four-year contract with Hummel till 2019. On 27 April 2015, the AFF signed a contract with a new sponsor called Alokozay Group of Companies. This sponsor will be on the shirts of the national team.[30] Hummel released in 2016 the new kits for Afghanistan. It included an integrated hijab for the female Afghanistan footballers to play with while being covered from head to toe.[31] In December 2018, Hummel announced that it will no longer sponsor Afghanistan's football association after allegations emerged of physical, psychological and sexual abuse committed by male employees against the country's women's national team's players.[32]

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2009–2020 Hummel AGC (Alokozay Group of Companies)
2020–2023 JAKO AGC (Alokozay Group of Companies)
2024-present SIX5SIX AGC (Alokozay Group of Companies)

Sponsors edit

Alokozay, MOBY Group, Lemar & TOLO are the national team's sponsors.

Flag edit

The Afghanistan national team still uses the old tricolor flag of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (the internationally recognized flag of Afghanistan) instead of the white flag of the Taliban government, despite the group's takeover of the country in 2021.[33]

Rivalries edit

Afghanistan is currently rivals with Pakistan in many sports, including cricket and football. In a historic match in 2013, Afghanistan beat Pakistan, 3–0, to rekindle a famous rivalry and to play since the chaos in Afghanistan began.[34] On 6 February 2015, they lost 2–1 to Pakistan in Lahore, Pakistan.

Results and fixtures edit

The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

  Win   Draw   Loss   Fixture

2023 edit

3 September Friendly Bangladesh   0–0   Afghanistan Dhaka, Bangladesh
17:00 UTC+6 Report Stadium: Bashundhara Kings Arena
Referee: Prakash Nath Shrestha (Nepal)
7 September Friendly Bangladesh   1–1   Afghanistan Dhaka, Bangladesh
17:00 UTC+6 Morsalin   62' Report Sharza   52' Stadium: Bashundhara Kings Arena
Referee: Prajwol Chhetri (Nepal)
12 September Friendly Philippines   2–1   Afghanistan Manila, Philippines
19:00 UTC+8
Report Popalzay   64' Stadium: Rizal Memorial Stadium
12 October 2026 World Cup qualifiers Afghanistan   1–0   Mongolia Dushanbe, Tajikistan
19:00 UTC+5 Sharza   60' Report Stadium: Central Republican Stadium
Attendance: 1,456
Referee: Qasim Al-Hatmi (Oman)
17 October 2026 World Cup qualifiers Mongolia   0–1
(0–2 agg.)
  Afghanistan Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
15:00 UTC+8 Report Noor   71' Stadium: MFF Football Centre
Attendance: 2,185
Referee: Hassan Akrami (Iran)
16 November 2026 World Cup qualifiers Qatar   8–1   Afghanistan Doha, Qatar
18:45 UTC+3
Report Sharifi   13' Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium
Attendance: 19,374
Referee: Nasrullo Kabirov (Tajikistan)
21 November 2026 World Cup qualifiers Afghanistan   0–4   Kuwait Dammam, Saudi Arabia
20:00 UTC+3 Report
Stadium: Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium
Attendance: 330
Referee: Ahmed Faisal Al-Ali (Jordan)

2024 edit

21 March 2024 (2024-03-21) 2026 World Cup qualifiers Afghanistan   0–0   India Khamis Mushait, Saudi Arabia
22:00 UTC+3 Report Stadium: Damac Club Stadium[note 1]
Attendance: 3,900
Referee: Kim Hee-gon (South Korea)
26 March 2024 (2024-03-26) 2026 World Cup qualifiers India   1–2   Afghanistan Guwahati, India
19:00 UTC+5:30
Report
Stadium: IGA Stadium
Attendance: 8,932
Referee: Mohammed Al-Hoish (Saudi Arabia)
6 June 2024 (2024-06-06) 2026 World Cup qualifiers Afghanistan   v   Qatar Hofuf, Saudi Arabia
--:--  Report Stadium: Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Sport City[note 1]
11 June 2024 (2024-06-11) 2026 World Cup qualifiers Kuwait   v   Afghanistan Kuwait City, Kuwait
--:-- UTC+3 Report Stadium: Sabah Al-Salem Stadium

Coaching history edit

As of 28 March 2024
Caretaker managers are listed in italics.

Players edit

Current squad edit

The following players were named in the squad for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification matches against   India between 21 and 26 March 2024.[38]

  • Caps and goals are correct as of 28 March 2024 after the match against   India.[39]
No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Ovays Azizi (1992-01-29) 29 January 1992 (age 32) 42 0   Hillerød
1GK Faisal Hamidi (1997-03-16) 16 March 1997 (age 27) 10 0   Attack Energy
1GK Faisal Saeed Khil (2005-02-19) 19 February 2005 (age 19) 0 0   Sarrafan

2DF Zohib Islam Amiri (1990-02-15) 15 February 1990 (age 34) 68 6   Blainville
2DF Sharif Mukhammad (1990-03-21) 21 March 1990 (age 34) 30 3 Free agent
2DF Zelfy Nazary (1995-01-01) 1 January 1995 (age 29) 15 1   St Albans Saints
2DF Mahboob Hanifi (1997-03-22) 22 March 1997 (age 27) 11 0   Attack Energy
2DF Mosawer Ahadi (2000-03-08) 8 March 2000 (age 24) 7 0 Free agent
2DF Habibullah Askar (1999-08-09) 9 August 1999 (age 24) 4 0   Åtvidabergs
2DF Amid Arezou (1996-02-17) 17 February 1996 (age 28) 0 0   Trauma

3MF Omid Popalzay (1996-01-25) 25 January 1996 (age 28) 41 6   PSPS Riau
3MF Mustafa Azadzoy (1992-07-24) 24 July 1992 (age 31) 37 3   Atlas Delmenhorst
3MF Jabar Sharza (1994-04-06) 6 April 1994 (age 30) 15 4   Brønshøj
3MF Taufee Skandari (1999-04-02) 2 April 1999 (age 25) 9 0   B36 Tórshavn
3MF Rahmat Akbari (2000-06-22) 22 June 2000 (age 23) 5 1   Torpedo Kutaisi
3MF Yama Sherzad (2001-01-01) 1 January 2001 (age 23) 3 0   Breitenrain
3MF Jamshed Asekzai (1997-10-09) 9 October 1997 (age 26) 4 0   Lunds
3MF Edriss Hushmand (1999-05-01) 1 May 1999 (age 25) 1 0   Ariana
3MF Siar Sadat (2003-08-21) 21 August 2003 (age 20) 1 0   Blainville

4FW Balal Arezou (1988-12-28) 28 December 1988 (age 35) 28 9   Trauma
4FW Omid Musawi (2001-01-01) 1 January 2001 (age 23) 9 0   Para Hills Knights
4FW Fareed Sadat (1998-11-20) 20 November 1998 (age 25) 7 0   PSKC Cimahi
4FW Sayeed Reza Hussaini (1988-01-01) 1 January 1988 (age 36) 0 0   Para Hills Knights
4FW Amin Nabizada (2007-06-21) 21 June 2007 (age 16) 0 0   Watford

Recent call-ups edit

The following players have been called up for the team within the last 12 months and are still available for selection.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Golali Rahimi (1996-06-30) 30 June 1996 (age 27) 0 0   Abu Muslim v.   Kuwait, 21 November 2023
GK Omid Haydari (1999-04-24) 24 April 1999 (age 25) 0 0   Sorkh Poshan v.   Mongolia, 17 October 2023
GK Mohammad Jan Mohammadi (2000-12-21) 21 December 2000 (age 23) 0 0   Afghan Muhajir v.   Mongolia, 17 October 2023

DF Amanullah Sardari (2000-08-22) 22 August 2000 (age 23) 7 0   Abu Muslim v.   Kuwait, 21 November 2023
DF Hussain Alizada (1996-05-02) 2 May 1996 (age 28) 4 0   Attack Energy v.   Kuwait, 21 November 2023
DF Ali Baset Nazari (2001-11-06) 6 November 2001 (age 22) 3 0   Attack Energy v.   Kuwait, 21 November 2023
DF Maruf Mohammadi (2003-03-21) 21 March 2003 (age 21) 2 0   Sorkh Poshan v.   Kuwait, 21 November 2023
DF Alireza Panahi (2000-06-23) 23 June 2000 (age 23) 1 0   Mawj Sahel v.   Kuwait, 21 November 2023
DF Farzad Ataie (1991-12-30) 30 December 1991 (age 32) 16 0   Abu Muslim v.   Qatar, 16 November 2023
DF Najim Haidary (1999-12-22) 22 December 1999 (age 24) 10 0   GVV Unitas v.   Mongolia, 17 October 2023

MF Samir Samandari (2002-11-05) 5 November 2002 (age 21) 6 0   Attack Energy v.   Kuwait, 21 November 2023
MF Reza Gholami (1994-08-14) 14 August 1994 (age 29) 1 0   Attack Energy v.   Kuwait, 21 November 2023
MF Omid Rajabi (2005-01-01) 1 January 2005 (age 19) 1 0   Sorkh Poshan v.   Kuwait, 21 November 2023
MF Ali Rahimi (2006-02-20) 20 February 2006 (age 18) 1 0   Sorkh Poshan v.   Kuwait, 21 November 2023
MF Hakim Niazi (2006-08-14) 14 August 2006 (age 17) 1 0   Attack Energy v.   Qatar, 16 November 2023
MF Faysal Shayesteh (1991-06-10) 10 June 1991 (age 32) 58 9   Sreenidi Deccan v.   Mongolia, 17 October 2023
MF Farshad Noor (1994-10-02) 2 October 1994 (age 29) 33 4   DPMM v.   Mongolia, 17 October 2023
MF Noor Husin (1997-03-03) 3 March 1997 (age 27) 20 0   Southend United v.   Mongolia, 17 October 2023
MF Adam Najem (1995-01-19) 19 January 1995 (age 29) 15 0   Bhayangkara v.   Mongolia, 17 October 2023
MF Maziar Kouhyar (1997-09-30) 30 September 1997 (age 26) 10 0   York City v.   Mongolia, 17 October 2023
MF Mohammad Noman Walizada (2002-11-16) 16 November 2002 (age 21) 6 0   Istiqlal v.   Mongolia, 17 October 2023

FW Ramien Safi (1999-10-17) 17 October 1999 (age 24) 0 0   SV Rödinghausen v.   India, 21 March 2024WD
FW Amredin Sharifi (1992-03-23) 23 March 1992 (age 32) 29 4 Free agent v.   Kuwait, 21 November 2023
FW Yar Zakarkhel (1997-09-08) 8 September 1997 (age 26) 6 0   Attack Energy v.   Kuwait, 21 November 2023
FW Sayed Fatemi (1999-01-08) 8 January 1999 (age 25) 1 0   Preston Lions v.   Kuwait, 21 November 2023
FW Jawad Rezai (2001-08-24) 24 August 2001 (age 22) 1 0   Hume City v.   Kuwait, 21 November 2023
FW Farhad Alizadeh (2005-01-26) 26 January 2005 (age 19) 1 0   Sorkh Poshan v.   Kuwait, 21 November 2023

Notes
  • INJ = Withdrew due to injury
  • PRE = Preliminary squad
  • RET = Retired from the national team
  • SUS = Serving suspension
  • WD = Withdrew due to non-injury related reasons

Records edit

As of 27 March 2024[40]
Players in bold are still active with Afghanistan.

Most appearances edit

 
Zohib Islam Amiri is Afghanistan's most capped player with 68 appearances.
Rank Player Caps Goals Period
1 Zohib Islam Amiri 68 6 2005–present
2 Faysal Shayesteh 58 9 2014–present
3 Ovays Azizi 42 0 2015–present
4 Abassin Alikhil 41 0 2011–present
Omid Popalzay 41 6 2015–present
6 Mustafa Hadid 39 2 2009–2018
7 Djelaludin Sharityar 38 1 2007–2015
8 Mustafa Azadzoy 37 3 2013–present
9 Ahmad Hatifi 34 4 2011–2016
10 Zubayr Amiri 33 5 2011–present

Top goalscorers edit

 
Faysal Shayesteh is Afghanistan's co-top scorer with 9 goals.
Rank Player Goals Caps Ratio Period
1 Faysal Shayesteh 9 58 0.17 2014–present
2 Balal Arezou 9 28 0.32 2011–present
3 Khaibar Amani 7 21 0.33 2015–2019
4 Omid Popalzay 6 41 0.15 2015–present
Zohib Islam Amiri 6 68 0.09 2005–present
Sandjar Ahmadi 6 25 0.27 2011–2015
7 Hashmatullah Barakzai 5 30 0.18 2007–2014
Zubayr Amiri 5 33 0.15 2011–present
9 Noraollah Amiri 4 31 0.13 2015–2021
Ahmad Hatifi 4 34 0.12 2011–2016
Jabar Sharza 4 15 0.27 2017–present
Farshad Noor 4 33 0.12 2017–present

Competitive record edit

FIFA World Cup edit

Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks; correct as of 27 March 2024 after the match against India.

FIFA World Cup Qualification
Year Host Round Pld W D L F A Pos. Pld W D L F A
1930 to 1938 Not member of FIFA Not member of FIFA
1950 to 2002 Did not enter Did not enter
2006   Germany Did not qualify 1st round 2 0 0 2 0 13
2010   South Africa 1st round 2 0 0 2 1 5
2014   Brazil 1st round 2 0 1 1 1 3
2018   Russia 4th 8 3 0 5 8 24
2022   Qatar 4th 8 1 3 4 5 15
2026   Canada
  Mexico
  United States
To be determined TBD 6 3 1 2 5 13
2030   Morocco
  Portugal
  Spain
To be determined
2034   Saudi Arabia
Total 0/19 28 7 5 16 20 73

AFC Asian Cup edit

Year AFC Asian Cup record AFC Asian Cup qualification
Round Pld W D L F A Pos. Pld W D L F A
  1956 Withdrew Withdrew
  1960 Did not enter Did not enter
  1964 Withdrew Withdrew
  1968 Did not enter Did not enter
  1972
  1976 Did not qualify 4th 6 0 1 5 3 18
  1980 3rd 4 0 1 3 4 11
  1984 5th 4 0 1 3 1 20
  1988 Did not enter Did not enter
  1992
  1996
  2000
  2004 Did not qualify 3rd 2 1 0 1 2 5
        2007 Did not enter Did not enter
  2011
  2015 Did not qualify AFC Challenge Cup
  2019 3rd 6 1 3 2 7 10
  2023 3rd 11 1 4 6 9 21
  2027 TBD TBD
Totals 0/17 33 3 10 20 26 85

Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks; correct as of 27 March 2018 after the match against Cambodia.

CAFA Championship edit

Year CAFA Nations Cup record
Round Pld W D L GF GA
    2023 Group stage 2 0 0 2 1 9
Total 1/1 2 0 0 2 1 9

SAFF Championship (2003-2015) edit

SAFF Championship record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
  1993 Not a part of SAFF
  1995
  1997
  1999
  2003 Group stage 8th 3 0 0 3 0 6
  2005 Group stage 6th 3 1 0 2 3 11
    2008 Group stage 7th 3 0 2 1 5 7
  2009 Group stage 7th 3 0 0 3 1 7
  2011 Runners-up 2nd 5 3 1 1 13 7
  2013 Champions 1st 5 4 1 0 9 1
  2015 Runners-up 2nd 5 4 0 1 17 3
2018 – onwards Not a part of SAFF
Totals 1 title 7/11 27 12 4 11 48 42

Afghanistan were members of the South Asian Football Federation between 2005 and 2015. As a result, they did not enter the competition between 1993 and 1999 and have not entered it since 2015.

Summer Olympics edit

Summer Olympics record
Year Round Pld W D L GF GA
  1900 to   1936 did not enter
  1948 Preliminary round 1 0 0 1 0 6
  1952 did not enter
  1956 to   1960 Withdrew
  1964 to   1988 did not enter
Since 1992 See Afghanistan under-23 team.
Total 1/20 1 0 0 1 0 6

Asian Games edit

Asian Games record
Year Round Pld W D L GF GA
  1951 Fourth place 2 0 0 2 0 5
  1954 Group stage 2 0 0 2 4 12
  1958 to   1998 did not enter
Since 2002 See Afghanistan under-23 team.
Totals 2/13 4 0 0 4 4 17

AFC Challenge Cup (2006-2014) edit

Year Final Tournament Qualification
Round Pld W D L F A Pos. Pld W D L F A
  2006 Group stage 3 0 2 1 3 5 Qualified automatically
  2008 Group stage 3 0 0 3 0 10 1st 2 1 1 0 1 0
  2010 Withdrew Withdrew
  2012 Did not qualify 3rd 5 3 0 2 6 3
  2014 Fourth place 5 1 3 1 4 4 1st 3 2 1 0 3 1
Totals 3/5 11 1 5 5 7 19 10 6 2 2 10 4

Honours edit

Regional edit

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ a b Afghanistan will play their home matches at a neutral venue due to the ongoing Afghan conflict.
  2. ^ From 1988 to 2003, Afghanistan didn't play any matches due to security concerns within the country.

References edit

  1. ^ The Lions of Afghanistan: Afghanistan national football team Live Mint. Retrieved 17 April 2021
  2. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 4 April 2024. Retrieved 4 April 2024.
  3. ^ "Afghanistan - Historical results".
  4. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 27 March 2024. Retrieved 27 March 2024.
  5. ^ "FIFA Member Association Afghanistan". fifa.com. 14 March 2017. Archived from the original on 9 June 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Afghanistan National Football Team" Archived 2 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine by Afghan-web.com (Afghan-web)
  7. ^ "Afghan Football Veterans, Experts Reflect on Sports' Growth". Tolo News. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  8. ^ "South Asian Gold Cup 2005 (Karachi, Pakistan)". Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  9. ^ "Afghanistan at AFC Challenge Cup 2008 at AFC Website". Archived from the original on 13 February 2013.
  10. ^ "South Asian Gold Cup 2009 (Dhaka)". Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  11. ^ a b Afghan Football League Heads to First Semi-Final Archived 15 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine by Rezwan Natiq and Mir Sayed (Tolo News, 10 October 2012)
  12. ^ Roshan Afghan Premier League a hit with fans by Tahir Qadiry (BBC News, 22 September 2012)
  13. ^ "Talent search at Hindukush" (in German). fussball.de. 28 August 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  14. ^ Amiri: Football brings Afghans together by FIFA (FIFA, 22 August 2013)
  15. ^ "Faqiryar: A real football fairytale". fifa.com. 6 May 2014. Archived from the original on 15 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  16. ^ "Ahmadi reaping rewards for bravery". fifa.com. 22 October 2013. Archived from the original on 15 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Skeledzic: Afghan job my greatest challenge". fifa.com. 25 February 2015. Archived from the original on 15 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  18. ^ "AFF Signs MoU with Alakozai Group of Companies". Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  19. ^ "India to host 2015 SAFF Cup". Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  20. ^ "Otto Pfister, New Mentor For Afghanistan National Football Team". 12 February 2017. Archived from the original on 13 July 2017. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  21. ^ "Lions draw positives from defeat". TNP. 24 March 2017.
  22. ^ "AFC Asian Cup match: AFG-VIE". AFC. 28 March 2017.
  23. ^ "Afghanistan edge Cambodia". AFC. 27 March 2018.
  24. ^ "Afghanistan Football Federation introduces new head coach". AFF. 10 July 2018.
  25. ^ "NEC-trainer Dastgir nieuwe bondscoach van Afghanistan". Gelderlander (in Dutch).
  26. ^ "Kabul To Host Afghanistan-Palestine Friendly Football Match". ToloNews.
  27. ^ War and Football: The Story of Football’s Development in War-Torn Afghanistan by Huffingtonpost (13 February 2013)
  28. ^ FIFA programmes boost Afghan football by FIFA (FIFA, 8 April 2015)
  29. ^ "Sponsorships Hummel". Hummel.
  30. ^ "Afghanistan eyes world cup to bring joys among war-hit Afghans". The Kabul Times. 24 July 2016. Archived from the original on 3 August 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  31. ^ "Hummel presents new Afghanistan football shirt with hijab". Hummel. 7 March 2016. Archived from the original on 11 April 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  32. ^ "Hummel ends sponsorship of Afghan football federation - The Local". Archived from the original on 6 December 2018.
  33. ^ Montague, James; Secker, Bradley (18 November 2021). "A Resilient Team for a Broken Nation". The New York Times.
  34. ^ Bezhan, Frud (21 August 2013). "Historic Soccer Match Brings Unity To Afghanistan". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 4 September 2022.
  35. ^ "برگی از تاریخ: سفر تیم ملی فوتبال افغانستان به تهران در سال 1328ش | خبرگزاری شیعیان افغانستان | Afghanistan - Shia News Agency".
  36. ^ "Home Page | خبرگزاری فارس". www.farsnews.ir.
  37. ^ "Manchester United academy graduate lands shock new job in Afghanistan". Talksport. 8 November 2023. Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  38. ^ "Latest Squad". Facebook. Afghanistan Football Federation.
  39. ^ "Afghanistan". National Football Teams. Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  40. ^ "Afghanistan". National Football Teams.

External links edit