Hosna Korishi’s passion for football started at the age of 10, playing football with the boys during class breaks:
When I was 11, we went to visit my grandmother in Iran for holiday. My uncle went outside to play football in the street with some boys and I also wanted to play. It was not common for girls to play in the street, let alone to play with boys. I asked my grandmother to convince the boys so I could play football with them, they agreed.
As an 11 year old girl, I was breaking the rules in a country where this kind of freedom is very limited, and that only to play football.
A couple of years later I signed up with a club, OSM 75 Maarssen for which I played for 4 years. Then I transferred to VV Maarssen and played for almost 5 years for this club. While studying labor laws at the Free University of Amsterdam, I played on their indoor soccer team for one year. I finished my Bachelor of Laws (LLB) two years ago and currently finishing up my Master of Laws (LLM), specialization in labor law.
I got to The Netherlands with my parents, my younger brother and sister due to the Taliban’s oppression in Afghanistan. Twenty years ago, we left Kabul. I was only 3 years olf and don’t remember much about that time.
My father and mother told me it was no longer safe to live in Kabul and that’s why we left. My father was an art painter as well as teaching art painting, but upon the resurgence of Taliban rule in 1996, the ban on most forms of art and cultural expression was immediately implemented. When the Taliban captured Kabul, my father was deprived of the right to paint and teach. Life became unbearable and dangerous for him and his family. That’s when my parents decided to leave Afghanistan in search of a safe place to live and to ensure us a future.
Traveling with other people, hitchhiking, using all kinds of transportation, we travelled from Russia, crossing many countries until we got to The Netherlands, where my uncle was waiting for us. It was for us nice to see a familiar face in this new, strange environment.
Once we were settled in The Netherlands, my parents travelled back to Afghanistan to visit their relatives still living there. I wasn’t allowed to go with them because they wouldn’t let me. They are care to much for me and think it’s not a good idea for me to go out there.
In 2015 I saw that they were looking for Afghan girls, playing football, to participate for the first time in a multicultural tournament in Amsterdam. I volunteered and met other football playing Afghan girls for the first time. The next year I was invited to participate again. Our second participation in 2016 in this tournament was with a much better team than the first time.
After our last game at the tournament, Coach Kelly Lindsey and assistant coach Haley came to talk to us. They motivated us and said; “I saw some good things on the field, if you all work even harder, than we will meet us in California end of august”. First we couldn’t believe what she said so we turned to Haley and asked her; “is that true? Are we going to California? Can we be part of the national Afghan Team?
When the AFF announced the list of the 32 players that made it to the roster and I saw my name on it, I was so happy and excited. I had to tell all my friends and posted a message on Facebook I wanted everybody to know. My parents were so proud that they told the rest of the family about my achievement. My mom is very happy for me but is not looking forward missing me for the time we will be in the US training.
I know it will not be a holiday or a pleasure trip to California. I know that it will be hard work and that I have to prove to my coaches that I can be one of the final 23.
I’m looking forward meeting all the girls in California and to build a strong, coherent team. I want us, to be the proof that we as Afghan women, can bring pride to our country.
But before I get to the US, I have to train hard, improve my physical condition and make sure that I will be top fit when I will check in my bags for California.