A one-year contract was signed in Kabul on Saturday for Shaheen Asmayee football team between a local businessman, the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) and Afghanistan Premier League (APL).
The businessman, Fada Mohammad Salih, said at a press conference with officials from AFF and APL that he will support the Afghanistan Football Federation in the long-run.
Salih bought Shaheen Asmayee on the eve of the launch of the 7th annual APL tournament that kicks off in Kabul on Sunday.
“Our aim is to make the country proud through sport,” said Salih.
“We want to encourage a big number of youths to play sport and serve the country through sport,” said Shafiq Gawhari, APL commissioner.
“His (Salih’s) interests will help Afghanistan football develop and the country’s football to progress because of his support,” said Mohammad Yousuf Kargar, AFF technical deputy.
Eight teams representing eight zones of the country will take part is this year’s APL which will be held at the AFF football stadium.
The APL was scheduled to kick off earlier this year, but it was delayed due to a lack of funding.
However, this week Ajmal Rahmani, the head of the Rahmani Foundation, announced at a press conference in Kabul that his foundation had stepped in as a key sponsor for this year’s tournament.
Rahmani said that after previous sponsors pulled out, he stepped in and together the football federation and his foundation had reached an agreement to fund the tournament.
Until now the league has been sponsored by the private sector and supported by the international community. It not only provides entertainment for millions of Afghans worldwide, but promotes national unity, combats radicalism, and works to eradicate drug usage.
Eight zones will still be represented but instead of holding the tournament over three months, it will not run for just a month.
On Thursday Gawhari said the time frame had to be reduced due to the change in weather and the possibility of an early onset of winter.
Gawhari also said he is confident that this year's tournament will be as successful as the past 6 tournaments.