Author: Isabella

Ladli Khan: “I am not a sporty person, I don’t like games and all that.”

Ladli Khan: "I am not a sporty person, I don't like games and all that."

How Afghanistan women’s football teammade it to Australia’s finals series

Sonia Nazir


Ladli was born in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in December 2000. In 2006 she became the youngest ever captain-player in the Asian Football Confederation and earned the Silver Boot for the Asian Women’s Championship. In 2010 she was made captain before resigning a year later.

“Some have told me not to come here because I am a woman and I am not going to change the team.

“Of course it is easy for them to say that, in the first place they don’t know me.”

With a career spanning more than a decade, she has only just begun to be recognised.

“I would say I am lucky and blessed and I am thankful to God,” she said.

Ladli was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in December 2000 to a poor family. Her family was forced to move to Pakistan when war broke out.

Her mother, who worked at a private school, was forced to move and eventually settle in Jalalabad, also in Pakistan.

The family had a lot of problems and Sonia grew up having to help provide for her three younger sisters. “It would be difficult to talk about my parents but I am glad they are no longer alive.”

Ladli, who played football at school when her mother worked as a teacher, did not enjoy sport growing up.

“I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the field or the stadium and the crowd. I like to watch TV,” she said.

“I am not a very sporty person, I don’t like games and all that.

“But I am a very determined person and I always knew I had to follow my dreams.”

“I would play football but my mother would beat me up and say I would die.”

“I have been able to become a very

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