The UAE women’s national football team was formed in 2009, which coincided with Abu Dhabi hosting the FIFA Club World Cup for the first time.
Since then, the women’s game has been receiving more and more support from the government, as well as Abu Dhabi Sports Council, to further develop it and its reach.
“Since the first Club World Cup more girls are opening up about the game and the society here are accepting the fact that women are playing football,” says UAE national team player Nouf Al Anzi.
Al Anzi has been on the team for several years, and is happy to be part of a group of young women changing perceptions regarding female participation in football here in the Emirates.
“Some people, when I tell them I play football they say ‘what? Girls, playing football?’ But we get support from our families and close friends. The sport wasn’t popular but now we can find opportunities to play so it’s good,” she told Sport360 two years ago in an interview.
The UAE national women’s team narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Asian Cup but the players remain hopeful in achieving great results in the future.
“Representing your country is something but actually wearing a shirt that has a badge, while playing and trying to achieve something, to be honest it’s such an honour to wear this shirt. I feel so proud. I hope my parents and family and the society I live in feel as proud as I feel,” says national team player Amal Wael.
The UAE women’s team is currently ranked 80 in the world according the FIFA rankings.
“With the support of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the national team has a great opportunity that we have more girls coming to play football,” says team captain Noura Al Mazrouei.
Watch the video above (courtesy of Abu Dhabi Sports Council) to know more about the Emirati national football team.
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