Al-Hilal to add new women’s sporting academy to growing Saudi branch network

Al-Hilal was established as a sporting institution in 1957, and its football team has gone on to become Saudi Arabia’s most successful side with 62 titles. (AFP/File Photo)
Al-Hilal was established as a sporting institution in 1957, and its football team has gone on to become Saudi Arabia’s most successful side with 62 titles. (AFP/File Photo)
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Updated 14 July 2021

Al-Hilal to add new women’s sporting academy to growing Saudi branch network

Al-Hilal was established as a sporting institution in 1957, and its football team has gone on to become Saudi Arabia’s most successful side with 62 titles. (AFP/File Photo)
  • Club will also introduce fencing to list of sports, bring back handball age group teams

RIYADH: Al-Hilal has announced the creation of a new women’s sporting academy as well as introducing fencing and bringing back handball age group teams to the club, Arabic sports daily Arriyadiyah reported.

The move was confirmed on Tuesday by club president, Fahad bin Nafil.

In a statement on its Twitter account, the club said it was also looking to expand the number of Al-Hilal academies in several regions of the Kingdom.

And the club’s board of directors named Suleiman Al-Hatlan as vice president, and Sultan Al-Sheikh as chairman of Al-Hilal Investment Club Co.

Al-Hilal was established as a sporting institution in 1957, and its football team has gone on to become Saudi Arabia’s most successful side with 62 titles, including 17 league championships and three AFC Champions League wins.


Messi looks angry at being replaced; Icardi gets late winner

Messi looks angry at being replaced; Icardi gets late winner
Updated 8 sec ago

Messi looks angry at being replaced; Icardi gets late winner

Messi looks angry at being replaced; Icardi gets late winner
PARIS: Lionel Messi hit the crossbar with a curling free kick and looked angry at being taken off in the 75th minute in his home debut Sunday for Paris Saint-Germain.
Substitute Mauro Icardi scored deep into stoppage time as PSG scraped a 2-1 win over Lyon in the French league to make it six straight victories.
Messi stared sharply at PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino and appeared to snub a handshake as he came off. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner, who is still chasing his first PSG goal in his third appearance following his shock move from Barcelona, sat glum-faced on the bench.
As he was coming off, Messi made a gesture with his hands apart as if to say he didn’t understand, and Pochettino attempted an explanation afterward.
“Everyone knows we have great players in the squad, we have 35 players. But we must make decisions for the good of the team. Sometimes they lead to a positive result and sometimes not,” Pochettino said through a translator. “These are decisions we need to take. Sometimes it pleases people, or it doesn’t. I asked him how he was, and he said he was fine.”
On the field, Icardi found space to head in Kylian Mbappe’s precise cross from the left in the 93rd.
PSG fell behind in the 53rd when Brazil midfielder Lucas Paqueta finished neatly, after forward Karl Toko Ekambi picked him out with a low cross to the front post.
Neymar equalized from the penalty spot in the 66th after he was fouled by 18-year-old right back Malo Gusto.
Lyon coach Peter Bosz was unhappy with the call.
“It’s not Malo who fouls Neymar, it’s Neymar who puts his hand on him and fouls him,” Bosz said. “I can understand if the referee didn’t see it, but then there is VAR.”
Lyon’s long-serving president, Jean-Michel Aulas, went even further by calling the decision “an aberration” and saying the referee should have used video review.
Messi almost scored in the 32nd.
He found Neymar down the left and sprinted to meet Neymar’s clever reverse pass, but goalkeeper Anthony Lopes read Messi’s low shot well and denied him with his legs.
Four minutes later, Lopes was stuck to the spot as Messi hit the crossbar with a free kick from 25 meters.
Messi, whose last Champions League goal for Barca was away to PSG in last season’s round of 16 return leg, also hit the bar in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at Club Brugge.
PSG is five points ahead of bitter rival Marseille, having played one game more.
Marseille earlier beat Rennes 2-0 to move into second place with striker Bamba Dieng getting his third goal in two games.
After Dieng turned in a cross from midfielder Pol Lirola in the 48th, substitute Amine Harit scored in the 70th after cutting in from the left flank.
Also, Amine Gouiri missed a late penalty as fifth-placed Nice was held to a 2-2 draw by visiting Monaco in a thrilling French Riviera derby.
Gouiri had the chance to make it 3-2 from the spot in the 82nd following a hand ball by defender Benoit Badiashile. But he missed the target.
Monaco striker Wissam Ben Yedder’s penalty five minutes earlier made it 2-2, moments after Gouiri and Andy Delort set up midfielder Hicham Boudaoui.
After Nice forward Kasper Dolberg limped off with a knee injury, midfielder Aleksandr Golovin put Monaco ahead in the 39th from a right-wing cross by Gelson Martins.
Delort, who replaced Dolberg, equalized in the 50th as he headed in Gouiri’s cross. Gouiri has four goals and two assists in six games.
Struggling Monaco is in 14th spot.

‘It feels like a sporting revolution’: Saudi Karate Federation president hails KSA progress

Dr Musharraf Al-Shehri, President of the Saudi Karate Federation with Olympic silver medalist Tarek Hamdi. (Supplied)
Dr Musharraf Al-Shehri, President of the Saudi Karate Federation with Olympic silver medalist Tarek Hamdi. (Supplied)
Updated 14 min 28 sec ago

‘It feels like a sporting revolution’: Saudi Karate Federation president hails KSA progress

Dr Musharraf Al-Shehri, President of the Saudi Karate Federation with Olympic silver medalist Tarek Hamdi. (Supplied)
  • Dr. Musharraf Al-Shehri says Tarek Hamdi’s Tokyo success was ‘pivotal moment’ for sport

 

JEDDAH: Tarek Hamdi’s heroic silver medal at Tokyo 2020 and the third place finish by the Saudi women’s karate team in the kata competition of the International Karate1 Premier League tournament held in Cairo recently have ushered in a new era of achievement and progress in the sport, the president of the Saudi Karate Federation has said.

Dr. Musharraf Al-Shehri told Arab News that the high-profile performances of Hamdi at the Olympics in particular “brought attention” to karate in the Kingdom and will help spur further development of the sport.

“The medal sent out a message,” Al-Shehri said. “And the message is ‘yes we can — we can compete on the biggest stage.’”

Hamdi and the successful women’s team will prove a source of inspiration for aspiring athletes to take interest in karate and other sports, he added.

“We are very happy to see Saudi Arabia gaining such a reputation in karate,” said Al-Shehri. “This confirms that we are on the right path in the the sport as per the vision engineered to develop it, enabling the Kingdom’s champions to produce honorable results.”

Al-Shehri started his career as a karateka and won the Saudi Championship seven times. He has also represented the Kingdom’s national team in many regional and international tournaments as a player, referee, and was chairman of the West Asian Karate Referees Committee, member of the Asian and Arab Referees Committee, advisor to the Athletic Federation of Saudi Universities.

“Today is one of the most important moments in Saudi karate history,” he said. It is a “game-changing moment” that will open sport up to more people than ever before, “creating new heroes and fueling future success,” he added.

“It feels like a sporting revolution and the start of something new. We want the people of Saudi Arabia to feel this change, share it, celebrate it, connect to our athletes and support them on their inspirational journeys.”

However, Al-Shehri said that the transformation is a result of the hard work of all previous federations, and not just the current one.

“We are continuing what the previous administrations started, but for us as a new management, we hope to bring the level of karate sports to the highest level,” he added.

“What Tarek achieved left a true imprint of Saudi karate and put the name of the Kingdom on the highest platforms in the world.”

He added that the rise in standards is down to the policies of the Saudi Karate Federation and its successful plans to develop the sport, as well as the full support of the authorities responsible for Saudi sports. The federation is now hoping to compete for more medals at the 2021 World Karate Championships to be held in Dubai from Nov. 16-21.

Al-Shehri thanked everyone who has worked with him during his tenure as president, including administrators, players, coaches, referees, members and colleagues of former members of the board.

He also praised the unequivocal support of Saudi Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz Al-Faisal, and hailed the government’s decision to include the martial art in school sporting curricula.

“I see that the future of karate is great in the Kingdom, especially in light of the great support of the generous leadership of all sports,” he added.

Speaking to Arab News at the Second Kingdom Open Championship for girls aged under 15 in Jeddah, Al-Shehri lauded the performance of the Saudi women’s team in Cairo.

“Though it was the first participation for the women’s team at the international level, the team managed to achieve a bronze medal in Cairo,” he said. “This is very promising for the future of the Saudi female team.”

With the rising popularity of karate as a sport, Al-Shehri expects participation to surpass 100,000 people at all levels as more local competitions are established.

“In fact, I think that the number is small compared to the size of the Kingdom, and I hope that the game will spread more and we will see more heroes like Tarek Hamdi, and that the competition will be high,” he said.


Saudi International and Asian Tour announce historic golf partnership

Saudi International and Asian Tour announce historic golf partnership
Updated 20 September 2021

Saudi International and Asian Tour announce historic golf partnership

Saudi International and Asian Tour announce historic golf partnership
  • New 10-year deal will see the Asian Tour sanction the championship from 2022, with an increased prize fund

SINGAPORE: The 2022 Saudi International presented by SoftBank Investment Advisers will mark the start of an historic chapter in golf, as the event becomes sanctioned by the Asian Tour as part of a new 10-year partnership.

The tournament, which will take place at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club near Jeddah from Feb. 3 to 6, 2022, will also feature an increased purse of $5 million, up from $3.5 million. The Asian Tour partnership is aiming to elevate the event in significant emerging markets around the world.

In 2021, the Saudi International presented one of the strongest fields in world golf, joining an elite group behind only the Majors and a small number of professional championships in the ranking points offered to competitors.

“Today marks a significant development for our flagship golf event and our vision to strengthen the depth of world-class golf events, both in the GCC and also on the international stage,” said Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation.

“The importance and potential of Asia’s role in world golf is undeniable, not least due to its position as a global economic powerhouse,” he said, adding: “This partnership will unlock many opportunities for players, sponsors and fans of the game. Most importantly, we are eager to help build a more inclusive game for all eligible professional golfers that spans borders and cultures by fostering collaboration with major tours and see this as an exciting first step on that journey.”

The deal with the Asian Tour, the official body for golf in Asia and a full member of the International Federation of PGA Tours, will introduce new commercial prospects and enable more professional golfers to qualify and compete for life-changing opportunities.

“This is an outstanding development for the Asian Tour that will create significant benefits for our membership, key stakeholders, and fans alike,” said Cho Minn Thant, commissioner and CEO of the Asian Tour.

“The Saudi International presented by SoftBank Investment Advisers is a world-class tournament which has become truly global. We are thrilled that it will be the showcase event of the Asian Tour’s season, spearheading our expansion into new frontiers.”

While the Saudi International presented by SoftBank Investment Advisers will mark the start of a revamped 2022 schedule, the Asian Tour is also in the process of finalizing plans to complete its combined 2020-2021 schedule, which will be announced in due course.


Saudi Arabia to hold 2021 Youth World Cup for weightlifting in October

Saudi Arabia to hold 2021 Youth World Cup for weightlifting in October
Updated 20 September 2021

Saudi Arabia to hold 2021 Youth World Cup for weightlifting in October

Saudi Arabia to hold 2021 Youth World Cup for weightlifting in October
  • More than 320 athletes to take part in the competition, to be held in the Kingdom for the first time

The Saudi Weightlifting Federation will host the 2021 IWF Youth World Cup in Jeddah from Oct. 3-12.

More than 320 male and female U-17 weightlifters from 45 countries are expected to take part in the competition, which is being held in the Kingdom for the first time.

“Hosting the tournament for the first time in Saudi Arabia, despite the circumstances the world is going through as a result of the pandemic, (shows) the unlimited support that the sports sector enjoys from our leadership toward achieving the goals of Vision 2030 and contributing to the growth of the domestic product in Saudi Arabia,” said Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, sports minister and president of the Saudi Olympic Committee.

The Saudi team’s weightlifters have claimed four medals in previous tournaments, with Ali Al-Othman winning two gold and a silver at the 2019 IWF Youth World Cup in Las Vegas  while Ali Majeed took bronze in the IWF Online Youth World Cup in Peru last year.


Golf fans set to return to 2021 DP World Tour Championships in Dubai

Golf fans set to return to 2021 DP World Tour Championships in Dubai
Updated 20 September 2021

Golf fans set to return to 2021 DP World Tour Championships in Dubai

Golf fans set to return to 2021 DP World Tour Championships in Dubai
  • European Tour’s season-ending tournament will take place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Nov. 18-21

DUBAI: Spectators are set to return to the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, where the world’s best golfers will battle it out to be crowned European No.1 at the fourth Rolex Series event of the 2021 season.

The 13th edition of the DP World Tour Championship will take place from Nov. 18-21 at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai.

“It’s great to see the return of major sporting events into Dubai’s social calendars,” Tom Phillips, European tour head of Middle East, said.

“The UAE has become synonymous with hosting world-class events and now, while celebrating the country’s 50th anniversary, we hope to set a new example of how to do so safely for all to enjoy.”

The 50 highest-ranked players on the Race to Dubai rankings will take on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates — designed by two-time Open champion Greg Norman — competing for a share of the $9 million prize pot. 

Free tickets to watch the golf, along with other hospitality options for the event, are now on sale.

As part of the ultimate fan experience, spectators can enjoy access to the 16th green hospitality lounge, with views of the course as well as access to the Jumeirah Golf Estates clubhouse and the preferential viewing platform on the 18th green.

The 18th fan experience will offer spectators access to the preferential viewing platform on the 18th green and to the clubhouse.

The DP World Tour Championship will again host the European Disabled Golfers Association Dubai final from Nov. 19-20, with eight of the leading players already having qualified to battle it out on the Earth Course in their bid to become champion.

It will be the first time the DP World Tour Championship will have fans attending since the 2019 edition after last year’s tournament, which was won by England’s Matt Fitzpatrick, was played behind closed doors due to pandemic restrictions.

The European Tour will work closely with the Dubai government and Dubai Sports Council on precautionary measures to ensure player and spectator safety.