Jordan will become the first Middle East nation to host a top Asian women’s football tournament when the cup is staged between 07 and 22 April 2018.
The new stadium dedicated to women has the capacity for 1,000 spectators. Two women’s teams held an exhibition game at the venue on Saturday 11 March to mark the International Women’s Day.
The Arab kingdom has around 1,000 registered women footballers and it hosted in 2017 the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, the first FIFA women’s tournament staged in the Middle East, which has created a momentum around women’s football.
A number of initiatives were held as part of the tournament to promote women’s football across the Kingdom and women’s involvement in the game as well as to defy social conventions. This included the distribution of 15,450 adidas balls to vulnerable communities, offering Jordan children a chance to play and practice football; and, the involvement of women in aspects such as the planning, organisation and day-to-day operations of the competition.
“Women’s football is progressing, especially after the efforts of Prince Ali (President of the Jordan Football Federation)” explained Manar Freige, former player and U-19 coach.
When he was vice-president of FIFA, Prince Ali fought successfully for the prohibition of the Islamic veil in the women’s football to be lifted.
The new women’s stadium “will contribute to raising the standards of the national women’s teams”, he added.