Pakistan Women’s National Football Team midfielder, Abiha Haider, has added to her long list of accolades after being awarded the ‘Pride of Pakistan’ award at the Conclave Pakistan – Champions of Pakistan 3.0 event held at Marriott, Karachi.
Abiha Haider holds many international and national honors. She is a two-time Guinness World Record holder and was listed amongst the Top 30 Powerful Muslim Women in Sports in the World 2020.
Abiha made her debut for the national team at the age of 13, the youngest ever player in the national team’s history. Besides the national team, Abiha has also represented Pakistan Shaheens in Australian Football League (AFL) in International Cup 2017.
She won her two Guinness World Records in 2019. The first world record was for the ‘longest football match ever played’, which lasted for more than 70 hours. The second record she made was for a football match played by the most number of nationalities, more than 55 nationalities took part in the match, and Abiha was Pakistan’s sole representative in both these matches.
Abiha was also named amongst the Top 30 Powerful Muslim Women in Sports in 2020.
Abiha told FIFA.com about her feelings to be named amongst the best. “I come from Pakistan, and when I was growing up playing football, I didn’t have many role models – in fact, no role models at all in football. When I started playing in 2009, the game was still very much in a developmental stage.”
She further added,
I promised myself that I would develop myself and build up my personality in a way that youngsters could look up to me, that parents and families could look up to me and be certain that if a person like me is in football, that it means it’s safe for girls. I always wanted to give out that message, basing it on my own experience, my own character, and my own ability, that when I am playing football it means football is safe.
One of Abiha’s biggest achievements is to break the societal norms in the country and representing Pakistan at the highest level.
She has credited all her success to her parents who always supported her despite reservations from the people around her. She said that after breaking such barriers, she has proved a lot of people wrong and the people who used to criticize her are her biggest supporters now.