News & Insights

Play like a girl!- Saudi Arabia Establishes National Women’s Football Team

2 Nov 2023

Geeta M


From being allowed into stadiums as spectators for the first time in 2018 to the establishment of the Women’s Football Department of Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) in September 2019 and the consequent launch of their first-ever women’s national football team in 2021, Saudi Arabia has come a long way, really fast.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has consistently invested the nation’s efforts and resources in sports- in line with the Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy. The establishment of SAFF and the formation of the women’s football team in such a short time is commendable and shows the country’s gradual mental shift towards the participation of women in society.

Layan Jouhari, a football player associated with the Jeddah Club Al-Ittihad and the national team is excited about possibly representing the country at the 2027 Women’s World Cup. "Taking the leap from zero to 90, you can progress very fast but then to reach another level gets harder and harder," said Jouhari, in an interview with John Duerden, Asian Football Writer for BBC. "There is still so much that we can do, [but] we are going step by step."

The need for highlighting the rise of Saudi Women’s participation in world sports is similar to one of Nike’s biggest campaigns in the MENA region- Rise of the Kids | Sports is Never Done. This campaign was created to throw the spotlight on the importance of movement and sports for kids. It helped both parents and children re-imagine their knowledge of sports and encouraged them to have valuable life experiences by participating in sports across the region.

Football is a sport for everyone and Saudi Arabia’s Women’s Football team is only getting started in carving a space for themselves on an international level. 


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