Home | News    Friday 24 February 2006

Sudanese women play first competitive soccer

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

Feb 23, 2006 (KHARTOUM) — After five years of playing her first love soccer behind closed doors in Sudan where Islamic laws restricted female sports, Sara Edward is finally playing a match against other women in public.

Dressed in shorts and a T-shirt with no head covering, sweating 19-year-old Edward is the captain of the "Challenge" soccer team which is among six teams of young women who have battled to break traditional values in Sudan and hope to form a national competitive team.

"In the beginning we had sharia (Islamic law) here and people didn’t want women to play football," Edward told Reuters on Thursday.

Religious freedom was a key issue in a bitter north-south civil war in Sudan but, since a peace deal last year, sharia has been more loosely applied in the north.

Women in Khartoum in the past were forced cover their heads and wear long skirts. But the appropriately named Challenge team refuse to wear those clothes.

"It is too difficult for them to play when wearing head covering," said Michael Archangelo, the team’s coach.

Some of the opposite team, from the Sudan University, were playing dressed in head coverings and long trousers, hot work under the blistering desert sun in Khartoum.

After years of fighting with the authorities, who blocked their work to form a competitive women’s league, the teams are at last playing in the first public league. Thursday was the second match in that league.

Organisers said the 2005 peace deal which ended Africa’s longest civil war in Sudan’s south was key to opening the way for them to begin playing.

"Of course after the peace society has become much more open — anyone can wear whatever they want, for example," said Edward, whose favourite soccer team is Brazil because she says she likes their flair.

Religious freedom was a frontline issue in the conflict, which pitted the Islamist Khartoum government against the mostly Christian and animist south.

Since the deal a new coalition government has been formed and a new constitution agreed protecting the religious rights of non-Muslims in the capital.

The girls have a long way to go before they make it to the World Cup, as many took wild swipes at the ball and missed.

But budding talent was clear as some showed off tricks with the balls at half-time to an audience of giggling young men on the sidelines.

Challenge under Edwards’ leadership won 2 : 1 against Sudan University, and she said she wanted most to make the national team, which they hope to form in April at the first women’s football tournament in Sudan.

"We were the ones who first established football here, of course I want to make the national team" she said.

But they need support from the Sudanese football association which has so far not donated any money to the women, who fund their own activities and make their own kit.

The facilities could do with work too, as they played on a dusty, uneven pitch full of holes, with the lines so faded it was difficult to tell where the playing field ended.

The soccer coach at Sudan University, Ahmed Adam, said he hoped to expand women’s soccer to the schools and introduce young girls to the sport from an early age.

"I want to collect the girls and form five-a-side teams to expand the sport," he said. "People can see now that girls can play football in Sudan."

(Reuters)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 19 January 2013 12:19, by chalbhtho

    Your approach to this topic is unique and informative. I am writing an article for our school paper and this post has helped me a lot. Cheers
    Richard

    repondre message

  • 14 June 2013 13:20, by smithcurt

    Someone Sometimes with visits your site frequently and recommended it in my experience to read as well. The way of writing is great and also the content is pertinent. Thanks for that insight you provide the readers!
    online nursing college

    repondre message

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Sudan’s Constitutional Declaration was reduced to absurdity 2019-08-13 20:31:25 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman After paying tributes to the martyrs and hoping healing for wounded and offer sincere greetings to the rebellious Sudanese people who are inevitably victorious, having (...)

Options and opportunities for SPLM-N al-Hilu to join Sudan’s transition 2019-08-13 20:06:06 By Ibrahim B. Musa Despite the initial signing of the political on July, 17th, 2019 and constitutional declaration on August 4th, 2019, as well as the previous exhausting efforts made in (...)

Can Sudan achieve peace and democratic transition? 2019-08-13 07:37:28 By Rosalind Marsden Sudan has a unique opportunity to embrace democratic transition but there is no room for complacency. Comprehensive reforms and a united democratic front will be key to (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)

Joseph Malwal Dong joined the SPLM/A -IO 2019-04-02 08:35:02 SPLM/A (IO) Press Release 1/4/2019 On Hon. Joseph Malwal Dong Joined the SPLM/A (IO) The leadership of the SPLM/A (IO) would like to seize this precious opportunity to announce to members and (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2019 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.