If you weren’t previously aware, Pakistan has a phenomenal female football team. PHENOMENAL! They debuted in 2010.
Breaking norms and records, these girls wear shorts, display their skills with confidence and have played around 20 matches and participated in three championships already! They defeated Afghanistan in December 2010 with 3-0 and Maldives in September 2012 with 3-0!
Women’s football is growing in Pakistan rapidly. In August 2015 there will be a brand new women’s football league.
Unfortunately, all we have heard about our talented new team is that they wear shorts and that they are “drop dead gorgeous”! Sure, they are beautiful, but is that all we see in them?
They are accomplished athletes and need US to root for them and encourage them to perform against all odds. These girls are our pride!
And we must not belittle their accomplishments by focusing on menial things like what they wear. Our focus should be their skills, their game, making sure they have the resources they need to succeed and excel. We need to own their wins and their losses, and to do that, we need to know our team.
Introducing Pakistan’s female football team:
1. Raheela Zarmeen Baloch
The 22-year-old manager of Pakistan Women Football Team, not only manages the Balochistan United FC in domestic events, but has also been a part of Pakistan’s national women football team for the last three years.
2. Joyann Geraldine Thomas
She is not only the first Pakistani Christian to play for the Pakistani women’s football team, she is also one of the youngest members on the team! She made her international debut shortly after turning 17, in 2014.
3. Hajra Khan
She made her debut at the early age of 14 and scored a whooping 9 goals in 3 games for DWFC which won her the Top Scorer of the Tournament award. She has been credited as Top Scorer of the Tournament multiple times and is a gem for the team.
4. Shahlyla Baloch
Striker, for both Pakistan’s national team and Balochistan United, Shahlyla became the first Pakistan female footballer to record a hat-trick in a foreign league. She netted thrice for Sun Hotel and Resorts Football Team last week as they routed L-Sports 8-0 in the Maldives National Women’s Football Championship.
5. Syedah Mahpara
Syedah Mahpara is the goalkeeper for the Pakistani women’s football team. Besides playing for the national football team, she plays for the Balochistan United Team as well.
She is the captain of the Pakistan Army female football team and vice captain of Pakistan national team.
7. Sohaila Zarrain
Sohaila is 21 and the captain of the Balochistan United Women Football team. She is one of the defenders of the national team.
8. Abiha Haider
Abiha is 19 and a midfielder.
9. Diana Baig
The 19-year-old defender first wore Pakistan colours at the ICC Women’s cricket World Cup in 2013, and was then part of the football team at the South Asian Football Federation (Saff) Women Championship in Islamabad.
10. Azra Farooq
She is 20 and a goal keeper.
11. Mehnaz Shah
Mehnaz is a 21-year-old defender.
12. Rafia Perveen
Rafia is a 22-year-old defender.
13. Sahar Zaman
Sahar is 18 and a brilliant midfielder.
14. Zulfia Shah
Zulfia is a midfielder.
15. Fatima Ansari
She is 19 and a midfielder.
Other team members are Almira Rafeeque, Roshnan Ali, Shayyan Nida Huqque, Warisha Khan, Mahwish Khan, Mussarrat Shaheen, Rukhsar Rasheed, Roshnan Ali, Shayan, Sowieba Sarfraz, Sumaira Kousar and Sofia. Here is the complete team: