JEDDAH: Football fans around the world celebrated the recognition of women in sports after the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup (WWC) final match in Lyon, France, in which the US beat the Netherlands 2-0. One country where the US victory struck a powerful chord among female sports enthusiasts is Saudi Arabia.
Women are participating in sports in increasing numbers in the Kingdom as the reforms being introduced under the Vision 2030 plan enable women to take on different career paths.
Members of Jeddah Eagles, a women’s football squad with 39 players, watched the July 7 WWC final in anticipation of an exciting finish. In the end, they celebrated not only the US team’s victory but the recognition of women in sports as a whole. Members of the team talked to Arab News about how they have been inspired by the WWC.
Women are participating in sports in increasing numbers in Saudi Arabia as Vision 2030 reforms enable them to take on different career paths.
Johara Al-Sudairi, who has been playing for Jeddah Eagles as a winger since August 2017, said she is thrilled that football is gaining popularity among women in the Kingdom.
Fatimah Gari, who joined the team as a striker in 2014, was happy for her fellow female football players in the US for their victory.
“It is a very good feeling,” the 28-year-old Saudi told Arab News. “I wish one day we will have a Saudi team and will be in their place.”
The 16-year-old central midfielder believes Arab women would perform better than their male counterparts given the right support.
“With the right amount of funding and support, Arab women for sure can be better at playing,” she told Arab News.