Buzkashi contest held in Samangan province

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A one-day buzkashi contest was held with local players in Samangan province to prepare the par-ticipants for a national contest which is due to be held soon in Kabul, sports officials said.

Qari Zabihullah Haji Zada, head of the Buzkashi Federation in Samangan province, said 60 athletes attended the contest from the provincial center and districts.

Haji Zada said buzkashi is a traditional sport and they are all trying to keep it alive. “We have inher-ited buzkashi from our fathers and ancestors and we will try to improve the game,” he said.

A number of participants said such contests are good for them to practice to prepare themselves for national games.

“I have been doing this game for many years. This is an ancient game performed by our ancestors,” said Najibullah, an athlete. The Buzkashi Federation said a buzkashi league is scheduled to be formed in Kabul in the near future.

Meanwhile, the Kunduz and Kandahar teams were declared winners after winning equal points in a controversial and intense final match of the second year of a Buzkashi league in Kabul.

Buzkashi riders from 16 provinces competed in the league for a week.

The final match continued for five hours and led to equal points from both teams, but eventually, Mar-shal Abdul Rashid Dostum intervened and an-nounced both teams as winners with 3-3 equal points.

Dostum, who is a big fan of Buzkashi, said the sport should not be politicized.

“Everything is getting political in this country, but the Buzkashi should not be politicized,” Dostum said. “This is a national sport.”

Members of the two teams claimed they have won the match. “We have nothing by the name of ‘equal result’ in a competition in any sport, but our opponent is happy for an equal result and they do not agree to hold the match once again,” Kandahar team’s representative said.

“Unfortunately, our rival did not comply with the sport rules during the competition,” said a represen-tative for the Kunduz team.

The Balkh team got the third position while the Kabul team did not show up in the semi-final match on Thursday.

Last year, the sport’s first league was launched but was stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.—Tolonews

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