West Asian and North African women’s teams gear up for DISCOVER FOOTBALL festival in Lebanon

Female football teams from West Asia and North Africa will come together this weekend to play football and help increase the media exposure and awareness of the sport in the region as part of the DISCOVER FOOTBALL festival in Lebanon.

Between 25 July and 2 August the participating teams will go on a football tour from Beirut to different rural areas of Lebanon, including North-Zgharta, South-Sour, Central North-Jounieh and Central South- Beirut, to play football and attend football-related courses addressing topics such as gender equality and social development, conducted by girls and women from the respective communities.

The international tournament will also feature film screenings, discussions and a special program for girls aged between 11-18 from different rural areas of Lebanon.

The long term goal of the football and cultural festival is to establish regular girls’ and women‘s football teams in each area and increase the visibility of women's football in the region ahead of the FIFA U17 Women's World Cup in Jordan in 2016.

"When the teams from Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Germany meet and compete against each other, they will share a feeling of empowerment and solidarity.

"They will experience the power of football to challenge traditional gender roles and to support the larger struggle for equality and social integration." read a DISCOVER FOOTBALL statement.

The festival is being organised by the Fare member in collaboration with the Lebanese Girls Football Academy, a training centre for girls of all ages. Organisers expect the festival to directly benefit 800 to 1000 female participants and 2000 to 3000 spectators.

For the implementation of initiative DISCOVER FOOTBALL will also cooperate with the Asian Football Development Project, Right to Play and One Goal, NGOs active in the field of sport for social development.

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