Afghanistan Independence Anniversary Festival 1941

Football matches were played as part of the annual Independence Festival (Jashn-e-Istiqlal). It is not clear whether there was an organized competition (cup) or only exhibition matches. The matches were played at Ghazi Stadium, Kabul.


23-Aug-1941                     Iran 1-0 India XI
24-Aug-1941              Afghanistan 1-0 Iran                   [or 0-0] *
24-Aug-1941 Istiqlal College (Kabul) 1-0 Union Club (Peshawar)  **
  -Aug-1941              Afghanistan 1-3 India XI               ***

  * This match was also reported as a 0-0 draw.  Some Iranian sources suggest 
    that Afghanistan scored a penalty in the last minute, which was protested by Iran.
    It may be that the match was declared a draw in the interests of diplomacy.
 ** Istiqlal College was "Lycée Esteqlal/Lesa-e-Isteqlaal" - A Franco-Afghan high school;
    Home team also reported as Harbia Club (Kabul); Harbia College/Maktab-e-Harbia is
    the military college.
*** Mentioned by only one source (a retrospective).

Exhibition match at Kandahar:
16-Aug-1941 Kandahar XI 0-5 Iran

Notes: The Iran team is sometimes referred to as a Mashhad XI; however, most of the players
       were from Tehran, with three from Isfahan and two from Mashhad.
       The Afghanistan team was also referred to as a Kabul XI or as the Ariana club.  
       The composition of the India XI is unclear; it was not a national team.
       It is quite possible that the reported "India XI" was the same team as Union Club (Peshawar).

Iran squad
 Manager: Shoa Motamed-Shirazi
 Coach: Hossein Sadaghiani
 Assistant: Fereydoun Sharifzadeh
 Players: Artush Asaturyan (Tehran), Abbas Gharib (Tehran), Akbar Heydari [c] (Tehran),
          Ebrahim Rahimian (Tehran), Mohammad Enshaa (Tehran), Ahmad Golboo (Tehran),
          Zabiollah Khabiri (Tehran), Mohammad Bolourforoushan (Tehran), Hossein Ghasemi (Tehran),
          Abbas Tanidehgar (Tehran), Ahmad Khatibi (Tehran), Ahmad Milanian (Mashhad),
          Gholam Heydar Bahadorzadeh (Mashhad), Karim Keshavarz (Isfahan), Hassan Nazeri (Isfahan),
          Hassan Sahifar (Isfahan).

Notes: Some sources report that Fathollah Minbashian [GK], Abbas Farzanegan, Mohammad Mohajer,
       Abdollah Saedi, and Nasser Enshaa were in the squad and played the match against Afghanistan.
       Other sources say that Minbashian and Farzanegan could not take part due to their military roles.
       During the festival, Iran was invaded by Allied forces and the team was called back home.

Results of other sports:
  Afghanistan      3-0 Amritsar Sports Club
  Afghanistan      3-0 British Legation (Kabul)
  British Legation 2-1 Amritsar Sports Club
  Afghanistan beat Iran
  British Legation beat Afghanistan

About this document

Sources included: "The Civil and Military Gazette" (Lahore), Afghanistan national football team (Karim Popal), Hamshahri Magazine, Iranfac,, Magiran, Fars News Agency, Pars News.

The authors note that no articles about the Indian team were found in the following newspapers: Calcutta Standard, Times of India, Hindustan Times.

Prepared and maintained by Houman Mazaheri, Neil Morrison, and Piet Veroeveren for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation

Authors: Houman Mazaheri, Neil Morrison, and Piet Veroeveren (nfm24(at)
Last updated: 11 Jun 2015

(C) Copyright Houman Mazaheri, Neil Morrison, Piet Veroeveren and RSSSF 2010/15
You are free to copy this document in whole or part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the authors. All rights reserved.