Afghan Goalkeeper Wins Award in Germany
Kabul- Mansur Faqiryar, who has made his name playing goalkeeper for the Afghan National Team in addition to his club VfB Oldenburg, received the North Athlete of the year Award in Germany.
Faqiryar was nominated for the award for his excellent performance for VfB Oldenburg in the domestic division in Germany.Based on a poll conducted by Germany’s NDR Television Network, Faqiryar had more than 15,000 votes from Internet users, putting him atop the list of the 10 nominees for the award.
After the voting, Faqiryar, with 1,5038 votes, Max Kruse, from club VfLBorussiaMönchengladbach with 3,808 votes in second place and Maximilian Arnold, with 1,271votes, in the third place.
The North Athlete of the Year award is given to the best athlete by NDR Television Network each year, and this was the first time a member of the Afghan National Football Team has been nominated and selected to receive the award.
Faqiryar was thrusted into the spotlight in 2013 when he led Afghanistan to win the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) 2013 Championship title in September. Faqiryar was excellent in the semifinal win over hosts Nepal and in the final against India.
Back in September in a highly anticipated championship match, the Afghan National Football Team defeated India soundly 2-0 to take the 2013 SAFF Cup. It was the first international title in Afghan history.
Having defeated Pakistan in Kabul for the first time in 37 years back in August, the SAFF victory solidified Afghanistan’s status as a new regional football powerhouse.
Although the SAFF victory marked a major step for Afghan football, which has seen significant growth in the formation of the Roshan Afghan Premier League (RAPL), the first national professional league in the country’s history, many challenges continue to face the growth of the sport in Afghanistan.
The most pronounced of those challenges are often financially related. Whether or not Afghan officials will continue to provide funds for Afghan football down the line, in the midst of the 2014 security transition, is uncertain. What is more certain is that many of the very top Afghan players will continue, like Faqiryar, to look abroad for their big break in the european club scene. (ToloNews)