This is how the ‘underground’ women’s league began in Saudi Arabia

This is how the ‘underground’ women’s league began in Saudi Arabia

The first women’s professional soccer league started this Monday in Saudi Arabia almost clandestinely, with access to the stands by invitation only, without the presence of television cameras or journalists and with minimal dissemination.. The opening match of this competition, which marks an important step for Saudi women, who have faced decades of bans, including playing sports and attending football matches, faced local team Etihad al Riyad ( Union of Riyadh) with Al Seham al Zarqá (Blue Arrows) and ended with a 1-1 draw.

Despite the fact that the Saudi Arabian Football Federation presented the start of the women’s league as a great step and as part of the efforts of the Saudi monarchy to project an image of openness to the outside, its visibility inside the country has been practically nil. Not allowing free access to the stadiums for the public or the press was added the scant information offered on this first day in which five games were scheduled, three in the capital and two in the eastern city of Dammam.

At the end of the inaugural meeting, held at the Princess Nura University Stadium in Riyadh, the federation’s women’s football section limited itself to announcing the result of the meeting on its Twitter account with an infographic that could read: “End of the Match: Al Seham al Zarqá and Etihad Al Riyad draw 1-1 and share the points.” Saudi sports media sources told EFE that the federation has not invited journalists to attend those games.

As announced on November 13 by the Saudi Football Federation, 16 teams will participate in the women’s league and the matches will be played in three cities: Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah, on the shores of the Red Sea. The Federation assured that it hopes to develop this league in the future to reach “professional levels” and even that the new national team, nicknamed the “green eagles” and for the one who has just hired the German coach Monika Staab, she can stand out in the international championships.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.