Tuesday 18 July 2023, 11:00

FIFA Forward helps women's Futsal in Iraq

  • There are currently 300 registered female Futsal players in Iraq

  • Many players faced an arduous journey just to play in a recent tournament

  • “We are sure Iraq has a lot of potential for women’s football growth”

When it comes to being committed to the cause, Iraqi women’s Futsal players might want to take a bow. 140 players from ten teams competed in the recent Iraq Women’s Futsal Championship in the city of Duhok with some players facing more than 12 hours on the road to make the trip by car. Funded in part by FIFA Forward which contributed USD $100,000 to the project, it was an opportunity for all female players across the country to come together to celebrate a new era.

The Futsal championship was part of Iraq FA’s overall strategy to increase female participation and give girls from different regions in Iraq the chance to play football. The tournament use football to unite women from different backgrounds and languages, with players coming from Duhok, Erbil, Mosel, Baghdad, Dyala and Diwaniyah. Competition was fierce. First place went to Erbil Girls; second place to Air Force. However, the biggest winners were the girls themselves. In seeking to further their personal and team ambitions, the tournament opened their eyes to the possibilities that lie ahead with Futsal uniting all regions across Iraq. Zainab Abbas finished as top scorer. “The tournament was a great opportunity to showcase our skills. The level of play was quite high. Opponents were tough and everyone showed great resilience and dedication. I am happy that I became the top scorer of the tournament, but the credit really goes to all our team. Without them it would be impossible. I would like to thank FIFA for this tournament and hopefully we will have many other editions in future” she said.

For Dr. Rasha Talib, Member of the Executive Office of the Iraqi Football Association, this was just the start of something much bigger. “It is very important that women in Iraq have the chance to play. The tournament showed that clubs are eager to invest in the further development of the women's game” she explained. “We started with Futsal, but we aim to create pathways for women to eventually switch to 11-a-side football. The IFA fully supports FIFA in the development of women's football, and we cannot thank enough our friends and colleagues from the International Football Federation. We are sure Iraq has a lot of potential to grow; this tournament was just one step, but we have many more plans for the future.”

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