Buzkashi

The most dangerous sport

   Buzkashi is one of the strangest sports in the world. People in Central Asia play it, specifically in Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. There is a buzkashi match every Friday in Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan. Its name is literally “goat pulling” in Persian. Players ride horses and the objective is to carry a beheaded goat and put it into a goal.

   Buzkashi begun at the west side of Asia, and it spread until it reached the central Asian countries. During the rule of the Taliban regime, from 1996 to 2001, buzkashi was banned in Afghanistan, because it was considered immoral.

   Buzkashi is a very dangerous sport. It has not got rules and there is not a referee, so the players do what they want. Every team has got ten players and the captain has got an AK-47 rifle. The pitch is about two kilometres long. Players usually get in bloody fights, because they can do anything to win. The game has two main forms: Tudabarai and Qarajai. In Tudabarai, the goal is to grab the goat and move in any direction until they get rid of the other players. In Qarajai, players have to carry the goat around a flag at the end of the field and drop it into a circle at the opposite end. Players usually carry a whip in this game mode, to fend off opponents and their horses.

   Buzkashi is an unknown sport, very strange and dangerous. From our point of view, this sport will be a disaster if it expands to our countries, with crazy spectators. This would be a problem and would generate many conflicts. So we think that it is better to play this sport only in the countries that know how to play it, because if people who do not know how to play decide to start a buzkashi match, it will have a very bad end.

Sergi Pons, Sílvia & Nil

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