Football is everywhere, you can't escape hearing or reading about football. I'm not sure if it's the Nr. 1 sport, I guess it depends on what continent we are talking about but it's close. I'm using Twitter to check news and see football all day every day.
Needless to say I see male players most of the time, except wen there's some very important tournament like World Cup. Other than that, you don't see women footballers in the news. What I'm saying here is that football is still dominated by males and there's a long way till women will be equal to men in this field. There's been a lot of discussion about equal salaries but I'm not going to go into that now, although there should be equality in payment as well.
The woman you see in the photo is Maha Jannoud, a 32 year old Syrian woman who's training male footballers. I've seen er before in the news and was shocked and also very happy. I was shocked as Syria is a male dominated country, where religion plays a huge role in people's life and women have less rights than in other countries. In a world like that to coach men is a huge thing.
Look at Saudi Arabia. Women were not allowed to watch football matches, they could have been arrested if find in a stadium. That changed, in 2019 they were allowed to participate for the first time but with limitations. Only 5% of the tickets were for women and they were separated from men. I've said this before, I didn't understand the reason, I mean who was the police protecting from whom. It's fair to mention that these changes happened not because authorities have realized how unfair is to ban women but because of the huge pressure they were under from FIFA.
They say one bird won't make spring but let me believe these small steps are going to lead to big changes. Let me hope that one day there will be equality in football too and women will have the same chance as men.
I can imagine how hard must have been for Maha Jannoud to train men. Looks like she's the first (and maybe the only) woman in the Middle East to coach a professional men’s team.
"I appointed her as technical supervisor of the team that will play this year," said the club's technical manager, Anas Sebaei. "We created a big noise with this decision. Maha deserves that because she is a good player and good coach."
I'm really happy for her and hope to see her in the news more along with other women just as brave and wonderful as her.