On The Long Game, we highlight stories of courage and conviction on and off the field. From athletes who are breaking barriers for women and girls to a Syrian refugee swimmer who overcame the odds to compete at the Paralympics, the show examines the power of sport to change the world for the better. A production of FP and Doha Debates


Ibtihaj Muhammad is the first Muslim American woman in hijab to compete and medal for the United States in the Olympic Games. An activist, entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author, Ibtihaj continues to be an important figure in a larger global discussion on equality and the importance of sport.

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Episode 1

Olympic Judoka Fights for Women in Afghanistan

Growing up in Afghanistan, Friba Rezayee didn’t always do as she was told. She didn’t enjoy the games the girls were supposed to play, so she played outside with the boys, even though it wasn’t allowed. As a teenager, Rezayee was introduced to the sport of judo, and she immediately knew that this would be how she would fight for her freedom. Rezayee qualified for the Olympics in 2004 and became one of the first two women, along with Robina Muqimyar, to compete for Afghanistan at the Olympic Games. More recently, she founded Women Leaders of Tomorrow, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing sports and education to women and girls in Afghanistan. Her mission is to help create her country’s future leaders. But now that the Taliban are back in power, what’s to become of Rezayee’s dream?

Episode 2

Cricketers Lead the Way for India and Pakistan

https://open.acast.com/public/streams/618446be191fd30013ed07be/episodes/619bf3a607b024001b7d1654.mp3 The rivalry between the cricket teams of India and Pakistan is a little like if a billion people tuned into a Red Sox-Yankees game. Add in nationalistic fervor on both sides, and things can get tense. When Pakistan beat India in 1978, the Pakistani captain declared it a victory for all Muslims against Hindus. But until recently, Pakistan had never beaten India in a World Cup match. That changed when the Pakistani team made an unexpected run all the way to the 2021 T20 World Cup semifinal. And as Pakistani fans watched social media videos of their team visiting the Namibian dressing room and sharing a birthday cake with members of the Scottish team, some started asking, “Is this the future of cricket diplomacy?”