Buzkashi: Afghanistan's National Sport Played with a Goat Carcass

As reported by NPR, it’s the national sport watched by enthusiastic fans, it involves the use of animal hide, and the object is to score a goal. It’s Buzkashi, where the "ball" is a goat with its head and hooves cut-off.

So far, it is not as big a hit in the USA, but it has been played by Muslims in Afghanistan and Central Asia for hundreds of year. As you probably could have guessed, the morning of the game, the goat is selected and slaughtered in halal fashion. Calves weighing up to 100 pounds are used in some of the more important matches. Next you slit the throat, let it bleed out, make sure it is fully disemboweled, then the hooves are severed and you are ready for game time.

The trick to scoring a goal is to yank up the mutilated, muddy carcass and wedge it between one of your legs and the horse and ride off and drop it in a designated circle. When players successfully achieve that goal, the chief sponsor presides over a brief ceremony and rewards the one who scored with three hundred dollars. In some matches, they can make as much as $3,500.

One caveat for the fans: make sure you bring your blanket, as games can last for several months.


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