Saudi Arabia set to launch first women’s football league
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on Saturday announced the launch of the first edition of the Saudi Women’s Football League, for the first time in the country’s history, on November 22.
In a statement, the Saudi Football Association said the launch of the first edition of the Saudi Women’s Football League is “a step that comes within the framework of the women’s football support program since 2017.”
The step is to promote female participation in sports. The league will be held on November 22 2021, in two phases, the first with the participation of 16 teams in 3 cities (Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam), and the final stage is scheduled to be held early 2022 in Jeddah at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium.
For his part, the head of the Saudi Federation for the Game, Yasser Al-Mashal, indicated that “this announcement is an important moment in the march of the federation,” noting that the launch of the first official league in the Kingdom was one of the federation’s goals when creating a special department for women’s football.
Saudi women were allowed to enter football stadiums for the first time in January 2018 – the same year that the Gulf kingdom ended a decade-long ban on female drivers.
The country in recent years adopted several reforms to empower women, including ensuring that women can drive cars, enter playgroups and stadiums, and pursue occupations that were previously accessible only to men.