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Women's soccer league kicks off in post-Bashir Sudan

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:41s - Published < > Embed
Women's soccer league kicks off in post-Bashir Sudan

Women's soccer league kicks off in post-Bashir Sudan

Sudan has launched a women's soccer league, a move that reflects the new transitional government's aspirations for the country and allows female players to push for wider acceptance.

Francesca Lynagh reports.

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Women's soccer league kicks off in post-Bashir Sudan

Kick off for women's soccer in Sudan.

The country has just launched its own women's league for the sport.

The move marks a shift in the government's aspirations for Sudan - since deposed president Omar al-Bashir was toppled in April following months of intense protests.

Due to strict sharia laws, women's participation in sport has been largely neglected - until now.

Sudan's minister of Youth and Sports.

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MINISTER OF YOUTH AND SPORTS, WALAA AL-BOUSHI, SAYING: "As we all know, women's soccer has been historically fought against, and not only in Sudan, it was global.

In Sudan, it was more restrictive but we have the political will so that from now onwards, women's soccer would be one of pillars of development and an integral part of the state's policies." The opening match - played at the country's oldest stadium in Khartoum - was officiated by female referees.

21 teams from across Sudan are taking part in the new league.

A previous attempt at an unofficial women's league featured only three teams - all from Khartoum.

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) GOAL KEEPER OF "ELTAHADI" WOMEN SOCCER TEAM , HOUDA ALI, SAYING: "We dream of moving forward, we want to participate in the (women's) World Cup, we want to raise the name of Sudan up high, and God willing we will do soon.

Sudan's name will be lifted because of women, women's football should advance." The country's new prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, has said female participation across society is a priority for his government, pointing to the prominent role of women in the protests that brought down Bashir.




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