In an attempt to limit restrictions and strict rules imposed on women living in Saudi Arabia, the country is launching a women soccer league.
Earlier on, women in Saudi Arabia were not allowed to participate in sports in public. But there was pressure on Saudi Arabia from different sports governing organizations seeking to permit women to take part in international events.
It was due to the pressure from the International Olympic Committee for more gender equality that Saudi Arabia was compelled to send its first female athletes to the Olympics in 2012. Saudi Arabia was the last country to do so.
Now launching a women football league is another step in this direction.
The president of the Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud in a statement said, “The commencement of the Saudi Women’s Football League is one more major leap forward for the future of our country, our health, our youth, and our ambitions to see every athlete be recognized and nurtured to their fullest capability.”
Saudi Arabia never had a national football team to compete in the women’s world cup even though a women’s soccer team did represent the Kingdom in a regional futsal competition last year.
The Kingdom resisted women’s participation in international soccer sports primarily due to a ban on the hijab imposed by the football’s governing body FIFA in 2007. But that ban was lifted back in 2012.