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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 September 2005, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
My Day in Afghanistan: Footballer
As part of the BBC News website's One Day in Afghanistan coverage on 13 September, we heard from people from all walks of life, all over the country.

Here you can read more from Maroof Gulistani, a 19-year-old footballer with the national team, on his goals on and off the pitch.

This morning, I woke up at 5am and went to football training with my team. I play for the Afghan national team and soon we'll be going to play in Germany.

Maroof (r) hopes to play football in Europe one day
Maroof (r) hopes to play football in Europe one day
I train six mornings and 18 hours a week. I am playing at full back at the moment but I prefer playing as a midfielder. This year I have to play out of position to help the team because there is no one else.

My dream is to play for Manchester United because of their good players, great history and manager.

I hope to play in Europe one day.

We have a Korean trainer in our team, Sung Jea Lee. He is a kind and helpful man, and he trains us for no cost. He is also an excellent coach.

I always talk about football when I am with my friends, or play mini football.

Corruption concerns

After training I then travel to work at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Here I work as a computer operator, but I have too much to do; sometimes I am a translator and interpreter and sometimes I am an IT officer.


I finish work at 4pm in the afternoon and will go and meet some friends. Afterwards, I will go home and spend time with my family and watch TV.

I am also studying and would like to read engineering at university because everything is destroyed in my country due to the last two decades of war and my country really needs good engineers.

I was living in Pakistan with my family from 1992 until 2002 so I was not in my country, but I can tell you whether everything has changed.

We have peace, more schools and universities - especially for girls, new roads and buildings and the security is getting better.

But the aid funds we receive could be used better. Some high-ranking governmental officials are thinking about their own pockets and even their own relatives rather than working for the country.

We are also still seeing some corruption and bribery in governmental offices.


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