By Hamid Shalizi
KABUL, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Afghanistan's celebrated national football team coach was stabbed near his residence in an upscale area of the capital Kabul, and has been hospitalised, police said on Sunday.
Mohammad Yousuf Kargar played a central role in rebuilding the national football side after the 2001 fall of the hardline Islamist Taliban regime that had banned almost all sports and even used the Kabul football stadium for executions.
The motive for the attack on Kargar on Saturday evening was unclear but may have been the result of a personal dispute, they said. The case is under investigation.
Photographs of Kargar lying in a hospital bed were posted all over Afghan social media, with condemnations of the attack.
He led the national team to its greatest success, winning the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) championship by beating India 2-0 in Kathmandu on September 2013.
The victorious young players were hailed as national heroes, sending tens of thousands of Afghans into the streets in Kabul cheering and dancing throughout the night with many firing AK-47 assault rifles in celebration across the country.
Afghanistan has struggled under the weight of more than three decades of conflicts that have severely damaged sports. (Reporting by Hamid Shalizi; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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