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'Why not leggings?': Pakistan women's football team stumped by question

Pakistan's senior women footballers played their first international match in 8 years at the SAFF Championship 2022. But on their return home, they were asked a question not related to football.

Why not leggings?: Pakistan womens football team stumped by question

Pakistan's Nadia Khan scored four goals against Maldives in the SAFF Championship 2022. (SAFF)


Rajdeep Saha

Published: 17 Sep 2022 10:56 AM GMT

While the Indian women's team bowed out of the SAFF Championship for the first time in the competition's history on Friday, neighbours Pakistan had an indelible experience in Nepal, which turned somewhat sour on their return to their home country.

Playing their first international tournament in eight years, the senior women's team from Pakistan scored seven goals against Maldives in their final group stage match. This was their biggest ever win, and seemed to be the perfect send-off for the team as they returned home to Lahore.

While the group of ladies received appreciation from all around, an untoward question was thrown at them as they faced the media after their return to Pakistan, which surely caught them off guard.

During a press conference in Lahore, a local journalist asked head coach Adeel Rizki why the girls did not wear leggings on the field.

Roughly translated, the man said, "This is Pakistan. The team played in shorts. Could they have worn any type of leggings and played? If yes, why not choose to wear leggings then?"

Social media is of course a strange place. So, while some asked for the journalist to never be allowed into a sports press conference again, there were also some who justified the question.

Coach Rizki, however, did not get fazed by the journalist and answered with a straight face.

"We understand that we are an Islamic nation and that our values are very strong. Then again, it is important to be progressive in sports. In terms of the uniform, that's something that is not in our control," he said.

Other participating nations in SAFF 2022 edition which have Islam as their state religion include Maldives and Bangladesh. While the former team's players were clad in their hijabs and leggings, the latter plied their trade in shorts, just like Pakistan.

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