TV Show Helps Build Afghanistan’s Professional Soccer League

October 20, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. revitalize (v.) 
[ree-vahyt-l-ahyz] – to bring back something that was dying or no longer popular
Example: The successful 2012 Olympics revitalized British people’s interest in sports.

2. region (n.) [ree-juh n] – part of a larger area that has been separated into different parts
Example:   The company’s employees come from different regions in the country.

3. divided (adj.) [dih-vahy-did] – being in disagreement with each other
Example: People in the Middle East are divided because of their different religious and cultural backgrounds.

4. origin (n.) [awr-i-jin, or-] – place where a person or thing comes from
Example: Soccer player Lionel Messi’s country of origin is Argentina.

5. ethnicity (n.) [eth-nis-i-tee] – the same cultural background shared by a group of people
Example: The ethnicity of Japan’s Ainu people is of great interest to history researchers.

Read the text below.

A reality television show in Afghanistan called “Maidan e Sabz” or “Green Field” served as the first step of the Afghanistan Football Federation’s (AFF) toward revitalizing the nation’s interest in soccer, boost business, and unify the country.

Through Green Field, talented soccer players were selected to be members of eight official teams of the new Afghan Premier League. Each team represents one region in Afghanistan.

Thousands of hopefuls signed up to be a part of Green Field, but only 30 contestants from each region were chosen. The TV program showed eight competitions held all over Afghanistan. The games tested players on their physical, mental, and soccer skills.

After the contests, 18 final players were chosen to represent each region’s team. Former Afghan soccer players chose 15 players per team, while the studio audience voted for the three players whom they wished to be part of a team.

Abdul Saboor Walizada, project trainer and former member of the Afghanistan National Soccer Team, said the AFF’s project could help bring Afghanistan’s divided people together. People would no longer judge a player based on his place of origin or ethnicity, but on his skill in playing sports, Walizada explained.

TOLO TV, Afghanistan’s leading television station, broadcasted Green Field and the Afghanistan league’s first season, which consisted of 16 league matches. The AFF project was sponsored by Rosham Telecom Development Co. and by media company MOBY Group, which owns TOLO TV.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think that a reality TV program is a good way of choosing members for a professional football team? Why or why not?
·         Can you think of ways how reality TV has brought some changes in our society?

Discussion B

·         How can sports unify a country?
·         In what way does ethnicity affect a person’s career in sports or career outside sports?


October 20, 2012