Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 October 2019

Sudanese women footballers back on the pitch after 30-year ban

Women were not allowed play the game under Omar Al Bashir, but since a new government came to power, their games have been attracting fans

The first match of the Sudanese Women's Football League has marked a turning point in the country's history.

During the 30-year reign of former president Omar Al Bashir, women in Sudan were not allowed to play football.

But since his fall in April, the new transitional government has been expected to adopt liberal policies such as freedom of speech and women's rights across the country.

The women's football games have been attracting spectators.

"I am very happy because we were able to overcome the customs and traditions that prevented us from exercising our rights as women in sports," said football player Azza Adel.

One of the first fixtures was 'Mars' team against the Sudan Eagles. It drew support from enthusiastic fans from the stands of Khartoum's stadium.

"Previously, if you were told that there is a woman playing football, most people, especially Sudanese people, saw it as a bad thing," says Sara Mohamed Said, the captain of the Sudan Eagles.

"Currently, thank God, there is a wonderful development, and football is very beautiful and people do not mind women playing the sport," she said.

Updated: October 7, 2019 06:55 PM

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