International

Saudi football chiefs appoint first women board members

2018-10-04 15:08
Saudi football fans pictured June 2018
Saudi football fans pictured June 2018 (AFP)

London - Saudi Arabia's Football Federation (SAFF) appointed women to the board for the first time in the kingdom's history on Wednesday, and also named a new president.

The two women are Adwa al-Arifi and Reham Al-Onaizan and the new president is Qusay bin Abdulaziz al-Fawaz.

Saudi authorities said al-Fawaz was the sole candidate who met all conditions for a post left empty after Adel Ezzat resigned on August 19 to run for the presidency of the Asian Football Confederation.

Al-Arifi was, Saudi media has reported, appointed in February as "the first woman committee member" in the history of SAFF. She was part of a seven-member corporate social responsibility committee and holds a degree in business administration.

Al-Onaizan's Linkedin page says she was "corporate performance and initiative management Senior Manager at the (Saudi) General Entertainment Authority'.

Qusay al-Fawaz is close to the head of Saudi Arabia's general authority for sports head Turki Al-Sheikh - who in turn is close to the kingdom's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who has been making social and economic reforms.

These included allowing women to enter a football stadium to watch a match for the first time in January, an easing of rules separating the sexes.

However, his reforms have been paralleled by a crackdown on all dissent, with 12 women's rights campaigners arrested over the summer – eight of them women.

Al-Fawaz has served as president of the Saudi Chess Federation and was a member of the team that oversaw Saudi Arabia's participation in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Saudi Arabia has long been a marginal player in football's ruling classes, unlike its Gulf rival Qatar - set to host the 2022 World Cup - with which it is embroiled in a year-long diplomatic spat.

But the oil-rich kingdom is in the middle of a major push for global influence in football governance.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

After Stuart Baxter stepped down as Bafana Bafana head coach, who would you like to see take over?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.