The Official Website of Afghan Premier League

Secondary menu


I must respect the Team's Name on My Jersey Above All Others - Rafi Barakzai

10 Sep, 2014

His full name is Mohammad Rafi Barakzai and he was born in Herat on March 21, 1989. He played for the 2012 RAPL champions, Toofan Harirod and scored a goal for Afghanistan during its run to the 2013 South Asian Football Federation Championship (SAFF). With so much success at such a young age its surprising to find how grounded, humble, and honest Rafi is. I met him in his room at the RAPL players guesthouse in Kabul, where we sat down to have a discussion over green tea. 

Barakzai played for his home team, Toofan Harirod, for the first two RAPL seasons. This year he and two former Toofan players were invited and given contracts to play for De Spinghar Bazan. Rafi bows his head when he speaks on the matter, "Herat is a beautiful place where you are accepted regardless of background or creed. It doesn't matter what your ethnicity is, people there are judged on how they treat others."

When I asked Rafi how it felt to leave Toofan Harirod for De Spinghar Bazan, he cleared his throat before speaking. "I am very happy with the time I spent playing for Toofan, every boy dreams of playing for his home team the way I did. I have a lot of respect for Toofan Harirod and always will, but as a man I must respect the team's name on my jersey above all others.  

Recently Barakzai was invited to travel to India and try out for Mumbai FC of the Airtel I-League. He will do so after the RAPL season is over and he has completed his commitment to De Spinghar Bazan. "I am thankful for the opportunity that Spinghar has given me to lead our team. It means a lot when an entire organization puts their faith in you and your teammates to bring them a championship. That is exactly what we plan to do."

Rafi will lead De Spinghar Bazan in their next match versus De Maiwand Atalan on September 19, 2014. 

Live updates for the match will be provided via Twitter (AfPremierLeague) and Facebook (Afghan Premier League). 

The match will be broadcasted live on TOLO TV, Lemar TV, Arman FM, and Arakozai FM. It will also be viewable on the RAPL YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/AfghanPremierLeague).   

Share this page