Saudi Arabia set to host 8-team WAFF Women’s Championship this month

February 6 – Saudi Arabia will host the 2024 West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) Women’s Championship later this month – the first championship 11-a-side women’s tournament to be held in the Kingdom.

With the Saudi team playing its first game just two years ago, the upcoming edition of the tournament also marks the Saudi women’s first-ever appearance in the WAFF Women’s Championship, and the first competition under new coach Lluis Cortes, who led FC Barcelona Femeni to a historic treble in 2021 before the players called for him to be sacked just weeks later.

This tournament formally marks the first competitive game in the history of Saudi Arabian Women’s football, having previously only organised friendly matches and tournaments.

Lamia Bahaian, Vice President of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be hosting the WAFF Women’s Championship. Looking ahead to what promises to be a brilliant tournament, we’re especially excited about the impact this will have in terms of inspiring women and young girls across the Kingdom while supporting women’s football development nationally and regionally.

“The individual and collective success of our domestic leagues, together with our success in hosting two editions of the SAFF Women’s Friendly Tournament and the 2022 WAFF Futsal Championship, shows that the foundations are in place for us to take the next big step in our journey. This means hosting an official 11-a-side competition. We’re excited to welcome members of the wider football ecosystem together for an incredible event – one that’s certain to showcase the full power of football as a force for good and a platform for turning dreams into reality.”

The host nation will be joined by Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and two guests – Guam and Nepal. The tournament will begin in group stage format with two groups of four, followed by the semi-finals and final with matches played at the King Abdullah Sports City and Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Sports City stadiums.

WAFF general secretary Khalil Al Salem added: “For WAFF, our mission has always been to promote football development by various means – including by organising championships across territories and paving the way for countries to compete and fans to become inspired.

“This announcement is the latest testament that our direction of travel is positive.

“There is no doubt that this tournament will witness high-level competition and exceptional organisation, building on the Saudi Arabian Football Federation’s successful track record in hosting football tournaments at various levels.”

The tournament will be played February 19-29 in Jeddah.

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1718427373labto1718427373ofdlr1718427373owedi1718427373sni@g1718427373niwe.1718427373yrrah1718427373

 


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