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Eye of Riyadh
Sports | Wednesday 6 March, 2024 9:08 am |
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Saudi Sports for All Federation to host third consecutive all-female Global Goals World Cup soccer finals in March

As part of its mission to develop sports in Saudi Arabia, and help more of the population become active, the Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) is hosting the Global Goals World Cup (GGWCUP) finals in the Kingdom for the third consecutive year. Taking place from March 7-8 in Riyadh, with the support of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City (RCRC), the GGWCUP will bring together all-women community-level soccer teams from around the world, united by a shared love of sport and physical activity. 

 

Inspired by the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, and designed to address global challenges such as poverty and climate change, the GGWCUP is an innovative fusion of soccer and advocacy, inviting teams from Norway, Denmark, Palestine, Jordan, Colombia, Nigeria, and more, as well as those from Saudi Arabia. The Global Goals also look to progress female rights and empowerment, with the GGWCUP raising awareness of women in sport, boosting confidence, and challenging social norms. During the finals, each team is scored for their support of a chosen goal on and off the field across four categories: Action, Crowd engagement, Style, and Football.

 

Founded in 2015, GGWCUP tournaments have taken place in Copenhagen, Nairobi, New York, Bangkok and Dubai, with Saudi Arabia serving as host in 2022, 2023, and now 2024. The 2019 GGWCUP in New York saw the first Saudi Arabian team make the finals in the UN Assembly, where the SFA-founded Saudi Greens took second place. It was also the first time a female sports team from the Kingdom had ever competed in the US, showing progress of the nation’s views on women’s football.

 

The SFA is proud to host the all-women soccer finals and conducts the search in the build-up to the event to find the team that will represent the Kingdom on the world stage. The players then show their support of a particular Global Goal with community events and awareness programs, with the SFA presenting a number of different talks on sustainability, women in sports, and sports as a catalyst for change at the GGWCUP finals itself. Other sporting initiatives for women introduced by the SFA include the Women’s Football League and a virtual Women’s Fitness Festival.

 

HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, President of the SFA, said: “The decision of the SFA to host the 2024 edition of the GGWCUP underscores our alignment with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, emphasizing sports and health, and our commitment to gender equality, the SDGs, diversity, and collective action. More than just a soccer event, the GGWCUP helps to spotlight sustainable development, foster global collaborations, and resonate the SDGs’ message to a wider audience.”

 

Shaima Saleh Al-Husseini, SFA Managing Director, said: “The GGWCUP finals in Riyadh will see local Saudi Arabian teams joined by others from all over the world. We have worked hard over the years to create more opportunities for females, to introduce positive role models in community sports, and to shift the perception of women in sport and leadership roles. The fact that we are hosting these finals again underlines the progress we have made.”

 

Since its inception in 2018, the SFA is the main body responsible for developing community sports, tasked with raising the percentage of individuals engaging in physical activity to 40% by 2030. Its initiatives target different segments of society, covering all abilities, ages, and nationalities.

 

As part of its efforts, according to recent figures, Saudi Arabia now hosts over 6,000 female athletes, with 25 federations featuring women’s teams, 30 federations with female board directors, and 67% of community sports groups including female members.

 

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