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Deng Xijun

Afghan News Roundup for March 2014 is compiled by Elayne Jude for Great North News Service

On the playing fields of Khorasan

FIFA and the International Football Association Board have lifted a ban on female players wearing head coverings.

Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, president of the Asian Football Confederation, praised the decision. Officials in Afghanistan and Pakistan assume that the ending of the ban will result in more orthodox Muslim women competing in sports.

Head scarves were banned because of fears that players who wore them risked injury to their head or neck. New designs with safety features began testing in 2012.

/more

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As the campaign for the Afghan presidency gets under way (see footnote on page 2), Afghan News Round Up (compiled by Elayne Jude for Great North News Service) looks more widely at human repair, roads unravelling, prizes for celluloid and carpet, WTO membership and different degrees of starvation

A China-aid Jumhoriate hospital has been inaugurated in the Afghan capital, kabul, in a ceremony attended by Second Vice President Mohammad Karim Khalili, underscoring China's persistent and wide ranging interest in the country.

"The China-aid Jumhoriate Hospital is one of the most technology-advanced medical institutions in Afghanistan, and was handed over to the Afghan side in 2009. The Chinese side respected the Afghan government's initial plan for the hospital's business operation and appreciated its great effort to seek international cooperation in the past five years," said China's Ambassador to Afghanistan, Deng Xijun. The 154-bed hospital boasts Afghanistan's only kidney dialysis machines. The Chinese government will provide further training programmes in institution management and medical personnel training.

"China will firmly support Afghanistan's independence and integrity. We wish a peaceful transition in Afghanistan in the year of 2014 following presidential election and NATO withdrawal," Deng said.

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