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Saudi Arabian Football Federation Invests Nearly 50 Million Riyals to Foster Women's Football.

Salem Badughaish


The Saudi Arabian Football Federation launched an initiative today to support and develop women's teams in the Women's Premier League and the First Division League. The program will receive financial backing of 49,920,000 Saudi riyals.

This initiative demonstrates the federation's commitment to nurture and sustain women's football in the Kingdom, gearing up for the launch of the second edition of the Premier League and the First Division League in the 2023/2024 sports season. Over 30 teams are expected to participate, up from 25 teams, 649 players, and over 50 foreign players from 20 different nationalities in the previous season.

The program's goals include enhancing the standard of women's competitions and promoting the establishment of diverse teams. Each club must have an U17 youth team and a senior futsal team for women. There is also an emphasis on developing players for the national teams by encouraging teams to sign professional contracts with Saudi female players and nurturing younger players to join the senior national women's team.

The initiative also intends to bolster the governance and sustainability of the teams, mandating them to devise a comprehensive strategic plan and organizational structure. It also aims to generate job opportunities by appointing Saudi female coaches in the technical staff and employing national talent in administrative, technical, and medical roles.

Participation in the Premier League and the First Division League requires teams to meet certain prerequisites, such as having a legal document denoting membership in the Saudi Arabian Football Federation and a competition license. Teams are expected to participate in all women's tournaments organized by the federation, fulfill regulatory and technical requirements, and comply with the financial competence system of the Ministry of Sports and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation.

The program is set to provide three types of support: direct unconditional support, conditional support based on mandatory criteria, and conditional support based on optional criteria. A specialized committee will conduct quarterly evaluations to ensure teams are meeting the set criteria.

Lamia Bint Ibrahim Bin Buhayyan, a member of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation's Board of Directors, expressed her enthusiasm for the initiative, which she believes will incentivize players, coaches, and all those involved in women's football to engage more actively.

The forthcoming season of women's competitions, commencing in October 2023, will witness the inaugural edition of the Saudi Arabian Women's Cup and an U17 girls' championship.

Worth noting is that the Saudi Arabian Football Federation has over 49 licensed female referees and over 1,000 female coaches working actively to develop and nurture young talents identified through clubs, academies, regional training centers for young girls, and the school league across the Kingdom.


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