Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 July 2019

UAE-based women footballers to scale new heights in Mount Kilimanjaro match

Two all-women football teams — including three players based in the UAE — will attempt to play a football match on a pitch built just below the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in June.
Women footballers, including the pictured Esraa Awad from Egypt, aim to break world record as part of equality campaign. Two all-women football teams – including three players based in the UAE – will attempt to play a football match on a pitch built just below the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in June.Photo Courtesy: Danielle Richards
Women footballers, including the pictured Esraa Awad from Egypt, aim to break world record as part of equality campaign. Two all-women football teams – including three players based in the UAE – will attempt to play a football match on a pitch built just below the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in June.Photo Courtesy: Danielle Richards

Two all-women football teams — including three players based in the UAE — will attempt to play a football match on a pitch built just below the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in June.

If they succeed, they will break the Guinness World Record for the highest altitude football game.

The players include former Canada international Sasha Andrews, Germany World Cup star Petra Landers, Afghanistan international Hajar Abufazl, former Fifa World Cup referee Jacqui Hurford and players from Argentina, France, Egypt, Jordan, Mexico, Great Britain, United States and the UAE.

The Equal Playing Field (EPF) initiative, formally launched on International Women’s Day joins the movement to increase opportunity, equality and respect for women seeking to play or work in sport, raise the profile of inspirational female sporting role models in the media.

The week after the match, EPF will work with local teams and organisations in 10 countries to host football clinics to support and advance women’s football development globally.

“The problem is as simple and powerful as our love of the game,” said Erin Blankenship, EPF co-founder.

“The lack of equality for and representation of women in sport is appalling across the board.

“Equal Playing Field is taking aim at the systematic inequalities girls and women face that limit their opportunities, acceptance and value as athletes and individuals, starting with those on a football pitch.”

In the UAE, Equal Playing Field is partnering with International Football Academy, as well as a number of local universities with strong women’s football initiatives.

“Playing a football match at this altitude has never been done before,” Laura Youngson, another EPF co-founder, said.

“We want to break a record to inspire other women and girls to keep challenging the inequalities in sport.

“Sport brings friendships and community, commitment and leadership, and strength and health. No girl should miss out on those benefits because of her gender.”

The women seek to take the fight for equality in sport to new heights, more than two kilometres higher than the world’s highest official stadium.

Mount Kilimanjaro stands 5,895 metres tall.

EPF is still in talks with potential sponsors and partnering organisations.

* Agency

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Updated: March 8, 2017 04:00 AM

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