Women's football in the Middle East + mid-Asia

Discussion in 'Women's International' started by sbahnhof, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. sbahnhof

    sbahnhof Member+

    Nov 21, 2016
    Aotearoa
    [​IMG] Stumbled across this a few months ago:

    Saudi Arabia: The secret league
    [​IMG]
    It really exists – a Norwegian researcher saw the games and met the players in the Riyadh Women's Football League in 2018:

    Saudi women are on the ball: Fighting for the right to play football - https://www.hf.uio.no/ikos/english/...n-are-on-the-ball-fighting-for-the-right.html (Archived)

    The players also discuss social stigma as a reason for secrecy, but Saudi women's football isn't totally closed off.

    The Riyadh league results are put online, Riyadh Challenge FC did an interview in 2014, and some clubs are on social media – Al Riyadh FC, Challenge SC and Jeddah's United Eagles – but no pictures showing the matches. The government is somewhat supportive of women's fitness now, and girls can play sport in private schools, but many problems remain.

    [​IMG]
    Rana Al Khateeb training with Challenge SC, 2012 (AP photo)
     
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  2. sbahnhof

    sbahnhof Member+

    Nov 21, 2016
    Aotearoa
    Women's U-17 World Cup:

    [​IMG] India has been chosen as the 2020 host, the second Fifa tournament in India after the 2017 men's U17 WC.

    The India U17s are the first Indian women in any world cup, and the federation (AIFF) is talking about different ways to help the home squad before the Cup kicks off. The team will struggle to avoid a big defeat like past hosts Azerbaijan 2012 and Jordan 2016, although that tournament did probably help Jordanian women's soccer to improve. (The Azeri FA, not so much.)
    An Indian Women's League manager, Juhi Shah, is pessimistic about the level of preparation and the 1-month national league:
    - http://www.espn.in/football/fifa-wo...up-a-ray-of-hope-for-womens-football-in-india (Archived)

    [​IMG] Iran: The team played two home friendlies against Belarus in March 2019, prior to Iran's Olympic qualifying group in Qatar (more info later).

    Iran lost both the games at the Ararat stadium 1-0 to Belarus (Archived) and 2-1 to Belarus (Archived) despite a red card for the BLR captain.

    [​IMG]
    Iran in 2016 (Tasnim News Agency, cc-by)
     
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  3. sbahnhof

    sbahnhof Member+

    Nov 21, 2016
    Aotearoa
    They didn't play, but Qatar hosted women's games (in AFC Olympic qualifiers) featuring Iran and Palestine:

     
  4. sbahnhof

    sbahnhof Member+

    Nov 21, 2016
    Aotearoa


    [​IMG] Israel: This was the 2017 Cup final, won by the successful club ASA Tel Aviv (in black) 2-1 against Maccabi Kishronot Hadera - video titled "ASA Tel Aviv wins the cup for the fourth time in its history".

    The women's league, Ligat Nashim, was won by Kiryat Gat in 2016/7 and 2017/8, but in 2018/9 they're close behind ASA Tel Aviv in the title race.

    The Israel FA is livestreaming women's club games on Facebook, including
    - 2018 final day of the season, Kiryat Gat [white] v Maccabi Holon [black] - Kickoff in video @30mins
    - 2019: ASA Tel Aviv [blue] v Kiryat Gat [red], 24 Jan - KO @22mins
     
  5. sbahnhof

    sbahnhof Member+

    Nov 21, 2016
    Aotearoa
    [​IMG] The awareness charity 'Equal Playing Field' broke a world record in Jordan in 2018. After two female teams played the highest football match on Kilimanjaro, next they had the lowest-altitude match :confused:
    - https://www.yaktrinews.com/sports/female-soccer-players-to-play-at-lowest-point-on-earth/725087648 (Archived)

    Mentioned earlier, the star player Hajra Khan of Pakistan was one name on the pitch, and this was the specially-built venue:



    In 2019, they're back, at the WWC in France:

    Festival of Football attempts the biggest match
    - http://www.bigsoccer.com/threads/festival-of-football-attempts-the-biggest-match.2103801/
     
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  6. sbahnhof

    sbahnhof Member+

    Nov 21, 2016
    Aotearoa
    Action from May–September 2019

    [​IMG] Jordan Women's Pro League: The 2019 season is getting plenty of online coverage, and is a head-to-head between Amman FC and the Jordan youth team, who met last month – in their game, they showed they're at a good standard and evenly matched. The clubs will meet in a title playoff, if level on points after the season's final games on Friday (20 Sep). All good news, after the 2016/17 and 2018 seasons ended in unclear circumstances.

    Maja Hitij made a beautiful photo essay about women's football life in Jordan while it hosted the Asian Cup, on MajaHitij.com. (Archived)

    [​IMG] Israel: As well as Chelsea FC's visit to Tel-Aviv, the summer saw a new champion in the Ligat Nashim – ASA Tel-Aviv University's first title in 4 years. With 57pts they dethroned MS Kiryat Gat.(54pts), while ASA also won the 2019 Women's Cup. You can see the top 2's late-season game, and this one:

    Cup final
    ASA Tel Aviv University (blue) 3-1 Maccabi Kishronot Hadera
    - www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YUDnLONmWQ
    [​IMG]

    Goals: Nkem Ezurike (CAN) 14, Mor Efraim 61', Rachel Rinast (SWI) 79' - Andreea Laiu (ROM) 7'


    [​IMG] India: U17 World Cup plans include a 4-team youth tournament to find a decent team, missing out the years of scouting and training they should've had. Will it work? :thumbsup: Uh, prob not

    The Indian Women's League was won by Sethu FC, who beat Manipur Police SC 3-1 in the final, with 2 goals by Nepal's Sabitra Bhandari, a.k.a. "Samba", a.k.a. "sign this cool striker". The IWL tournament was held over 2 hectic weeks in May in Ludhiana in Punjab. The final (live on Facebook) was a Wednesday afternoon kickoff.

    [​IMG] Bhutan: Who'll be the champion of the lowest-ranked country in Asia? :eek: We can't be sure, as the Bhutan WSL hasn't returned, so the 2018 champs the BFF Academy still hold the title. All kinds of regional and youth leagues are being held – including in the capital Thimphu, with every game at the wonderful Changlimithang. The strangely meditative final of the Thimphu league had monks on the sidelines and a fan singing with a bell, but Nimita Gurung's goal (87 mins) gave Sunrise FC the win over Thimphu City.

     
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  7. sbahnhof

    sbahnhof Member+

    Nov 21, 2016
    Aotearoa
    #57 sbahnhof, Sep 22, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
    With both hope and terrible sadness...
    May–September 2019 part II

    [​IMG] Iran will allow women to watch the men's national team v Cambodia at Azadi Stadium on October 10, and the movement is likely to win more rights for fans. Tragically a fan, Sahar Khodayari, took her own life, while facing jail time for entering a stadium, and the courts had ignored her bipolar disorder.

    [​IMG] Afghanistan: The ex-AFF president Keram is banned by Fifa, but not yet arrested. Fifa's slow investigation of the other abusers has been criticized by Lindsey, Popal and HRW.

    Now some good news...

    Afghanistan's women's championship has completed its latest season, a small annual cup that began in 2014, or perhaps 2013. It runs alongside the men's Afghan Premier League in the formerly war-torn state. The BBC journalist Kate Clark wrote about watching a women's game in Kabul in her article, "The players’ passion for the game" (Archived)
    This week the 2019 title was won by Kabul 1-0 against the far-west province Herat in the final, ahead of two northerly provinces, Balkh and Bamyan.
    Other Afghan news: a Kabul school team played in India, and the AFC has its first female Afghan ref at youth level.


    [​IMG] Saudi Arabia: Very surprisingly, Riyadh was announced as the venue for a Gulf Women's Football Tournament. It was set to start on 1 March 2019, but I haven't found any English info after that. It had 16 teams, including Riyadh champions Al-Yamamah and clubs from Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman. See Teller Report (Archived) and ArabNews (Archived)
    WomensSoccerUnited may carry info from the not-so-secret league in Saudi's second city, Jeddah, running Oct-Dec 2019.

    [​IMG] Greece: Hestia FC is a female refugees' football club, with players from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Eritrea and Ethiopia, reports APnews.

    [​IMG] Qatar: "Qatar takes a major step to form women's national team"... oh, it's from 2003

    AND
    From this I learned, in Bhutan 2% of the population are monks or nuns, and it's one of the only officially Buddhist countries in the world :coffee:

    [​IMG] Maybe it's just the crude juxtaposition of religion and football, but there's an extra power in seeing a Jordan Women's Pro League end-of-season game kicking off while the call to prayer is sounding. That game was Orthodox v Al-Nasr in Amman. But the key results were wins for Amman FC and Jordan Youth, the inseparable top 2, who must meet in a championship playoff within 3 days, and in the 2019 Women's Cup final on Sat 28 Sep.

     
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  8. sbahnhof

    sbahnhof Member+

    Nov 21, 2016
    Aotearoa
    Jordan: The women's league championship playoff was won by Jordan Youth Club, hereafter Shabab Al-Ordon, who also took the Women's Cup a few days later. Both games were 1-0 wins against the same opponent, Amman FC.
    The title-winning goal was a good one, by Shabab's striker Alice Kosi from Ghana:

    Shabab Al-Ordon 1 - 0 Amman FC (goal, 70')
    - https://mycujoo.tv/video/jordanfa-tv?hid=1155601&id=76976


    [​IMG] Iraq: Sorry there hasn't been much to report from Iraq, where the women's team is inactive and the Premier League stopped after a 2015/16 season.
    Football attendance has the same male-only problem as Iran, but for different reasons, described in an article by Nabil Salih:
    - "Why are there no women in Iraq’s football stadiums?" (Archived)
     
  9. Every Four Years

    May 16, 2015
    Johns Creek, Georgia
    Nat'l Team:
    India
    @sbahnhof

    > U17 World Cup plans include a 4-team youth tournament to find a decent team, missing out the years of scouting and training they should've had. Will it work? :thumbsup: Uh, prob not

    And we can't even call up diaspora players like countries with normal citizenship laws do either because our raging dumpster fire of a nationality policy bans dual citizenship. :mad::(

    We still wouldn't exactly have a wealth of options at our disposal, but we would at least be better than we are now.
     
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  10. sbahnhof

    sbahnhof Member+

    Nov 21, 2016
    Aotearoa
    [​IMG] I'm hugely confused by India's stance on nationality – is it a self-imposed ban? Fifa famously allows overseas-born players to represent a country of their parentage or grandparents: having the 'wrong' citizenship doesn't matter.
    Whose idea was it, the AIFF or the government?

    In the men's U17 WC, Canadian-born goalie Sunny Dhaliwal made the India squad after getting a passport (which it seems U18s can do, but older players can't). Maybe they'll try it again this time?

    Just a sidenote on a pioneer of the diaspora, England's Aman Dosanj:
     
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  11. Every Four Years

    May 16, 2015
    Johns Creek, Georgia
    Nat'l Team:
    India
    I actually looked it up. It was somewhat confusing, but my understanding is FIFA imposes limitations on who can play based on parentage/ancestry, but all of those are only relevant if you’re a citizen to begin with.

    In most countries, having a parent who immigrated from that country gives you citizenship at birth, even if born abroad. Or at the very least, entitles you to fast-tracked citizenship on request.

    India requires you to wait 6 years to take citizenship even if you can show Indian ancestry, and you must then forgo your old citizenship.

    I think there might be some leniency for minors, but even then they are usually expected to renounce their other citizenship.

    It’s a very frustrating situation, and not only because of football. I myself was born in India and no longer have Indian citizenship - as someone who was born there! - because I was naturalized in the US. It was actually even worse before because now the Indian government at least issues documents for non-citizen Indians (OCI; you can look it up) to travel freely and such. When I was younger, my younger brother (born in the US) had to have a literal VISA to go to India - despite being born to two Indian parents.

    The situation is beyond absurd.

    Anyway, kind of just ranting at this point, but hopefully that clarifies it.

    TL;DR: All other FIFA regulations are only relevant if the player in question is a citizen to begin with, as I understand it. Since the Indian government does not recognize dual citizenship, foreign-born Indians or even Indians naturalized abroad cannot play for India except under very limited circumstances.
     
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  12. sbahnhof

    sbahnhof Member+

    Nov 21, 2016
    Aotearoa
    #62 sbahnhof, Oct 27, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
    gaaah, I forgot, Fifa even brought in a passport rule several years ago. Dunno what I was thinking. Another country without dual citizenship that's seeking more diaspora players is China... (never mind having the highest population - football is 11 v 11!)

    @Every Four Years, your post was really interesting, thank you. Maybe it's even better than my detailed transcription of the inaugural West Asian Football Federation Women's Club Championship, which will have to wait. :)

    [​IMG] One SAFF tournament this month: the third U15s Championship in Bhutan. India and Bangladesh, very evenly matched at youth level, played a goalless final which India won 5-3 on penalties. Sri Lanka and Pakistan didn't send teams this time, which isn't great news.
     
  13. sbahnhof

    sbahnhof Member+

    Nov 21, 2016
    Aotearoa
    WAFF Women's Clubs Championship 2019: a detailed transcription

    For the first time, champion teams in the Middle East played for this title:


    The Championship was held in Aqaba in southern Jordan. After the draw on 2 Oct, the round-robin kicked off with the 5 teams:

    5th: Orthodox Club Beit Sahour (Palestine) [​IMG]
    Located near Bethlehem, the Beit Sahour club were mainly in for the experience according to coach Jalal Barham, and were never really in the race, conceding 7 or more each game. They scored once - against the champions, a goal by Razan Awad.

    4th: Riffa SC (Bahrain) [​IMG]
    Couldn't find much info on this women's team – they're attached to a successful men's team in Riffa on Bahrain Island, they're sponsored by a jewellery company, and they won the national women's league and cup last season, according to the jewellery company. The club's also known as Al-Riffa.
    In the WAFF, their best result was a 3-3 draw with the runners-up SAS.

    3rd: Abu Dhabi Country Club (UAE) [​IMG]
    The UAE team gave the tournament champions their best match – Shabab Al-Ordon took a 2-0 lead, but a goal in reply by Abu Dhabi's Salha Rashid (51') kept it close at 2-1. Next game, Abu Dhabi led 1-0 (Nouf Al Adwan 64') but gave away the win and the runner-up place, as SAS scored twice.

    2nd: SAS/Stars Association for Sports (Lebanon) [​IMG]
    As mentioned, their key moment in the tournament was the late comeback to win 2-1 v Abu Dhabi (goals by Lara Bahlawan and Nancy Tchaylian). SAS won the Lebanese women's league and cup in 2018/19, their third national championship.

    1st: Shabab Al-Ordon (Jordan) [​IMG]
    Having won the national double in September, Amman team Shabab ('Youth') travelled south and added the grand prize to establish themselves as West Asian champs. Most impressively a 3-0 win over SAS in game 3, despite a red card for Jordan WNT player Mai Sweilem.

    Alice Kusi was the top scorer with 9 goals for Shabab. In fact, she played before in Lebanon at Zouk Mosbeh and scored 1.5 goals a game. SAS's Nancy Tchaylian, from Armenia, won player of the tournament.

    Match reports by the AFC:
    - Women clubs to vie for West Asian history (Archive)
    - SAS’s magnificent seven, Kusi stars for hosts (Archive)
    - SAS, Shabab Al Ordon set up blockbuster clash (Archive)
    - Shabab Al Ordon within touching distance of title (Archive)
    - Shabab Al Ordon claim title with perfect 10 (Archive)
    - SAS finish second as goals fly in on final day (Archive)

    More info: Wikipedia / Mycujoo
     
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  14. Fureeku

    Fureeku Member

    Feb 9, 2011
    Maldives
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Maldives
    Just four teams are going to take part in the Women's Football event in the 13th South Asian Games held in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

    India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives are set for the draw tomorrow. The matches are set to be hosted at Pokhara Stadium, which, as of today, looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    This was supposed to be a 15,000 capacity stadium with a running track and changing rooms for both teams and officials. Incredibly, work began with less than two weeks left until the start of the Games, which are slated to begin on the 1st of December. Welcome to South Asia!

    Understandably, Olympic Committees of the other participating countries have voiced their concerns regarding the facilities, which were dismissed by Nepal's National Sports Council.

    “We are determined to host the event here at Pokhara stadium. We will conduct the matches even if we need to remove grass after every match," an official is stated to have said.

    The games were originally scheduled to take place on March, but was delayed to September, then again to December with Nepal's Olympic Committee having been threatened with a suspension if they don't manage to get the facilities up to scratch on time.

    Unlike the men's event where the squads must consist of U-23 teams + max. 3 overage players, the women's football event has no age restrictions in place, so all four nations are expected to field their strongest possible starting XI.
     
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  15. sbahnhof

    sbahnhof Member+

    Nov 21, 2016
    Aotearoa
  16. Fureeku

    Fureeku Member

    Feb 9, 2011
    Maldives
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Maldives
    2019 South Asian Games: Matchday 1

    Nepal 1-0 Sri Lanka
    India 5-0 Maldives
     
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  17. Fureeku

    Fureeku Member

    Feb 9, 2011
    Maldives
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Maldives
    2019 South Asian Games: Matchday 2

    India 6-0 Sri Lanka
    Nepal 3-0 Maldives

    India and Nepal guaranteed a spot in the final, but have to play each other in a dress rehearsal of sorts on Matchday 3. Winner between Sri Lanka and Maldives in their last match will take bronze.
     
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  18. Fureeku

    Fureeku Member

    Feb 9, 2011
    Maldives
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Maldives
    2019 South Asian Games: Matchday 3

    Maldives 2-1 Sri Lanka
    Nepal 0-1 India

    Maldivian Ladies win their first ever medal in this tournament!
     
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