Saudi Arabia has confirmed that it will host the 2024 West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) Women’s Championship later this month.
This tournament in Saudi Arabia will be the first-ever championship 11-a-side women’s competition to take place in the Kingdom. The Saudi women’s team, making their inaugural debut in the competition, will also make history.
Along with these significant historical events, the competition officially signifies the start of competitive play for Saudi Arabian women’s football, which had previously only been organized and participated in friendly matches and competitions.
The Saudi Arabian Football Federation’s Vice President, Lamia Bahaian, declared: “We are overjoyed to be hosting the WAFF Women’s Championship.” We’re particularly thrilled about the impact this will have on motivating women and young girls throughout the Kingdom and supporting the growth of women’s football both nationally and regionally as we look forward to what looks to be an incredible tournament.
“The foundations are in place for us to take the next significant step in our journey, as demonstrated by the individual and group success of our domestic leagues, as well as our hosting of the 2022 WAFF Futsal Championship and two SAFF Women’s Friendly Tournaments. This entails organising a formal 11-a-side tournament.
We’re thrilled to invite everyone involved in the football ecosystem to this amazing event, which will undoubtedly highlight football’s full potential as a positive force and a means of realizing aspirations.
The CEO of Football Media, Dean Akinjobi, discussed the expansion of sports in Saudi Arabia with Insider Sport last year. During the interview, Akinjobi made a bold prediction about the expansion of sports in general, stating that football “will be a key driver of this.”
The competition, which is scheduled to begin in Jeddah on February 19, will pit the host country against teams from Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, and two special guests: Guam and Nepal.
The WAFF will start with two groups of four, go through semi-finals, and conclude with a final, with games being played at the King Abdullah Sports City and Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Sports City stadiums.
Lluis Cortes, the 2021 treble-winning coach of FC Barcelona Femeni, will take charge of Saudi Arabia’s squad.
“For WAFF, our mission has always been to promote football development through various means – including by organizing championships across territories and paving the way for countries to compete and fans to become inspired,” said Khalil Al Salem, General Secretary of WAFF. This announcement is the most recent evidence that we are moving in the right path.
Without a doubt, this event will include elite competition and superb organization, continuing the Saudi Arabian Football Federation’s illustrious history of organizing football competitions at all levels.