October 17, 2013
Graeme Smith
Police officers armed with automatic rifles ring the pitch for Afghanistan's friendly against Pakistan.
Graeme Smith

The Afghan national team reassembled after the fall of the Taliban, when they played South Korea in 2002. But in 2005, during the team's first visit to Europe, nine players disappeared in Italy. The team disbanded, and it did not play again until 2007.

Soccer's comeback in Afghanistan has included an interest in European teams like Barcelona.
Graeme Smith
Afghans have quickly found a strong sense of pride in their national team and its accomplishments.
Graeme Smith
Afghan fans climb the fence around the stadium to get a glimpse of their national team in action.
Graeme Smith

May Jeong is a Kabul-based journalist. You can follow her on Twitter at @mayjeong.

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