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Saudi Arabia hosts first international women's football tournament

Saudi women’s national football [@Saudi_Gazette/Twitter]
Saudi women’s national football [@Saudi_Gazette/Twitter]

Saudi Arabia is hosting its first ever women's 11-a-side international football tournament, which is being held in the Eastern Region, between 11-19 January. The games are being officiated by the Kingdom's first FIFA-licensed female referee, Anoud Al-Asmari.

The friendly fixtures will include the participation of hosts Saudi Arabia, Comoros, Pakistan and Mauritius. The Saudi side defeated Mauritius 1-0 in the opening match of the tournament, thanks to a goal by Myriam al-Tamimi, while Pakistan beat Comoros, 1-0.

Yesterday, Pakistan went on to losing 2-1 against Mauritius, and Saudi Arabia beat Comoros, 2-0. After two rounds of matches, the hosts led the standings with six points.

Lamia Bahaian, Supervisor of the Women's Football Department at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF), said in a press statement that: "The hosting of this tournament in Saudi Arabia marks a milestone moment, not just for women's football and the growth of the game in the Kingdom, but for football itself."

"It is an event that can play a big role in inspiring millions of young girls across the country and the Asian continent to become involved in the beautiful game," she added.

The hosting of the four-nation tournament is part of the goals of the department at the SAFF to develop the women's first team, which was formed last year following the formation of the Saudi Women's Football League.

The Kingdom also made history in September of last year when the Green Falcons played their first international match on home soil, drawing 3-3 with Bhutan.

READ: After Ronaldo move, 2 Saudi clubs are looking to sign Messi

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