The transformational power of sports is unparalleled. The story of Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) women’s football team is a testament to this power and the relentless spirit of those who dared to dream and disrupt the status quo.
In just four years, a determined group of women has shifted cultural perceptions, fought uncertainties, and kick-started an era that will forever change the course of women’s football in the nation.
The Saudi government and these pioneering women worked in harmony, proving, “You are doing more than just playing the game. It’s a big thing, bigger than just you.” From being a nation where there was a cultural perception that women’s football was not essential, Saudi Arabia celebrated a World Cup win over Argentina with a public holiday. How’s that for transformation?
The Saudi Women’s football journey echoes a sentiment – that of creating history *together*. As the first slogan of the women’s department in the football federation rightly said, “together we create history”. Every single stride on the pitch, every goal, and even every pass, was a monumental ‘first’ for these trailblazers.
Two stories particularly stand out.
Layan Johari, a 22-year-old whose passion lies in both the soothing tunes of a piano and the exhilarating rushes of a football game, reminds us, “You are not just living your dream, you are living our dream.” While another talented player, a nurse by profession, finds her sanctuary in football. “Football kept me sane for nursing and nursing made me strong for football,” she reflects. For her, the football field is not just a playground, but a world where she finds peace and freedom.
Their journey is not just about sports. It’s about empowerment, equality, and rewriting narratives. Monika Staab, the women’s football technical director, summarizes it beautifully, “Coming together is the beginning, keeping together is progress, and working together is success.”
And while we applaud the monumental strides on the field, technology companies like Smart Runners are supporting these players off the field, ensuring they get the global recognition they deserve through platforms like Tunnel which is an All-in one solution providing rich video galleries and advanced dashboards for players, clubs, scouts, and fans to engage with
Watch their inspiring journey here: (https://lnkd.in/e8T2HThy)