Yousef Kargar was pleased with the efforts of his boys as they won the SAFF Championship in Nepal. He also pointed out how he was the only coach who was not recruited from abroad, amongst the eight competing nations.
He stated, “First of all I would like to thank you all. From the previous instance when you asked us, who we want to face, and from semi-final onwards, we wanted to face India for a revenge of the 2011 loss. Everyone has a foreign coach and only Afghanistan has a coach from their own nation. All the others have a coach from European or from other powerhouse nations. However we have Afghan coaches and we beat all 7 of them and so it’s a great feeling.”
Giving his take on the game, Kargar commented, “India were We, Afghans had our courage, talent and morale to win the game and we had to win!”
The Afghanistan national coach also emphasized on how this victory could be a catalyst for peace and harmony back in his country, mentioning, “It’s the greatest achievement for our country and people. For this, Afghanistan has a chartered plane to take more than 200 people for the game and they are going back tonight. People were very excited for the game and this shall bring national unity for the people of Afghanistan and also they will be very much united. There are lots of different ethnic people here, but they shall now join together in celebration.”
The 51 year old had told Goal in an exclusive interview before the final that he would retire if his side won the title. However that led to a furore back home, with officials and players vehemently against his decision. The coach revealed that this had forced him to change his decision.
“I had said that after 30 years of war, to win this title for the first time and taking the Cup back to Afghanistan, I would retire. After hearing that I am retiring, every player and federation officials started saying to me that I shouldn’t say such a thing ever again. Players said they shall retire if I go.”
India have dominated the competition, ever since the inception of SAFF. However Kargar warned the Blue Tigers, that their reign was now over.
“So far as Afghanistan is here, India’s rule is over. As long as we are in South Asia, it’s over for them,” he announced.
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