Hummel has announced a new partnership with the Afghan Football Federation in a deal that will also support the women’s national team with hijabs integrated into kits.
The Danish sportswear brand chose International Women’s Day to unveil the new female kits which include built in hijabs as part of an effort to open up the sport to women and allow them to compete on an equal footing with international sides from across the world.
The innovative design incorporates Afghanistan’s heritage and traditions with the hijab forming part of a baselayer shirt which will allow women to be covered from head-to-toe without compromising performance.
It marks the first time ever that a sports brand has included a hijab as a standard feature of a international shirt. The Afghan Lions adorn the front of both the men's and women’s new strips and have been designed to reflect the calligraphy and word carving for which the country is synonymous. The sleeve and hem design, meanwhile, has been inspired by the traditional dress of Afghanistan.
Hummel owner Christian Stadil said the brand “firmly believe that if you want to create positive change, you have to meet people as well as nations and cultures, where they are.
“So, if we want to create positive change for women in Afghanistan we have to meet them where they are. Many of these women have to or want to wear a hijab, and that's why we have chosen to make a very cool and very fashionable sports hijab for these great girls of Afghanistan.”
Khalida Popal, former Afghanistan national women’s team captain, works with Hummel to promote the brand’s campaign to change the world through sport.
“It was a huge honour to captain my country but it was an even bigger honour to be seen as a role model and an inspiration for thousands of young girls and women in Afghanistan,” said Popal.
“I think the Afghanistan women’s team shows the huge potential football has as a unifying force. I like to think that we have given a lot of women in our country fresh hope."
As part of the sponsorship Hummel will also donate €15 to the Afgan women’s team for each shirt sold.