Tuesday 08 March 2022, 17:00

FIFA President meets Saudi government and federation

  • Saudi Arabia women’s team played first-ever matches recently

  • First-ever nationwide women’s league also completed this year

  • FIFA President discussed co-operation and opportunities for further development of Saudi football

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has met with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Minister of Sports, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, and The President of the Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF), Yasser Al-Mishal to review areas of co-operation and potential opportunities for further development of Saudi football.

The FIFA President's visit to Riyadh came shortly after the Saudi women's national team played their first-ever matches, beating Seychelles and Maldives in a mini-tournament played in Malé. Earlier this year, the Kingdom also staged and completed its first-ever nationwide women's league. Saudi Arabia set up a Department of Women's Football Development in 2019 and since then has received encouragement and support from FIFA. During a previous visit to the Kingdom last year, the FIFA President stressed the importance of developing women's football in Saudi Arabia in line with FIFA's global strategy for women’s football. Following this the women's league was established as part of a wider programme which also includes the development of coaches, referees and players. Meanwhile, Monika Staab, the widely-respected German coach, was appointed as the first-ever head coach of the Saudi women’s team. They beat Seychelles 2-0 in their first-ever women’s international, then overcame Maldives by the same score in a subsequent match.