Jeddah Eagles flying high with women’s football win

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Jeddah Eagles won the women’s football league after a tough fight. (Supplied)
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Jeddah Eagles won the women’s football league after a tough fight. (Supplied)
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Updated 11 December 2019

Jeddah Eagles flying high with women’s football win

  • Coach praises team’s fighting spirit after ‘historic victory’

JEDDAH: A relieved Jeddah Eagles team claimed victory in the Jeddah Women’s Football League with a final-match victory over arch-rivals Miraas.
The Eagles were one-point leaders on the league table going into the last match of the season on Friday and needed a win to ensure triumph in the league. 
Coach Bireen Sadagah, 31, said she is overwhelmed with her team’s victory. “I still can’t believe we actually won the league,” she told Arab News.
Jeddah Eagles claimed the title from rivals White Lion, Jeddah Wave, Miraas, Storm and Kings United in a two-month competition which began on Oct. 4.
“It’s such a beautiful thing to win it after such a long journey, especially since we started from scratch,” Sadagah said.
“The girls feel very proud of themselves because they have accomplished something all the other teams in Jeddah were aiming for.
“Jeddah Eagles made history by winning the league and I’m sure that all the girls in my team will support their nephews, cousins, nieces, friends and others to be better. By 2030, you’re going to find a very good generation of athletes in the Kingdom,” the coach added.
Eagles midfielder Farah Jefry, 16, said: “It was incredible. Everyone was fighting for the cup and we were up by only one point before the final match, so we had to win in order to win the cup. I’m really thankful for my team for working so hard this season.” 
The young footballer said she is thankful for Saudi Vision 2030 and the role being offered to women to make sports history. Under social reforms led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, women are beginning to enter many different fields, including sports.
“There has been a huge difference if you compare us now from five years ago. Women have a lot more opportunities,” Jefry said.
“The Jeddah Women’s League is an example and also the first national team. Women’s football is gaining popularity in the Kingdom,” she said.
“There are so many people asking how they can join our team, and so many teams are being established these days. Two years ago, there were about five teams and now there are around 10.”
Eighteen-year-old midfielder Layan Jouhari praised the team’s efforts.
“The past few months have been intense with training four times a week, and a lot of planning and commitment,” she said. “We had to go through tough losses and amazing victories, so to finally win the cup in the end, it’s indescribable,” she said.
Jouhari said she is happy with the support Saudi Vision 2030 has given to women in sports.
“I’m grateful that Saudi Arabia is taking all these steps to develop and change, and shed light on areas where women haven’t had a chance to shine before. It’s rewarding to be appreciated by the Kingdom, especially in the field of sports. We are getting a lot of support,” she said.


Saudi Vision 2030 looks to the future but Iran’s ‘vision 1979’ is regressive: Prince Khalid

Updated 29 min 21 sec ago

Saudi Vision 2030 looks to the future but Iran’s ‘vision 1979’ is regressive: Prince Khalid

  • Deputy Minister of Defense said that Iran wants to export its revolution and has “an expansionist ideology”
  • In an interview with Vice Media, he said the country was the biggest threat to the region

JEDDAH: As the leadership of Saudi Arabia works, through its ambitious Vision 2030 project, to move the country and its people forward, Iran continues to follow its “vision 1979” in an attempt to push the region backward, according to Saudi Deputy Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman.
Speaking during an interview with Vice Media, he said: “We have…this great vision, Vision 2030, where we want to reform our economy, to basically uncap the potential in Saudi Arabia, to open new sectors in Saudi Arabia, and to have a prosperous country, and to move our citizens forward.
“To be able to do that, we need a stable, secure region, a prosperous region. We need to increase our economic cooperation with neighboring countries.”
Turning to the dangers the region is facing, the minister said: “I believe the biggest threats to the region, and to international security, is basically Iran: the Iranian regime and its proxies on one side, and Daesh, Al-Qaeda and terrorist organizations on the other side.
“We believe that they’re two sides of the same coin. They believe in the same concept; not necessarily exactly the same ideology, but they both do not believe in the sovereignty of nations, they both believe in a transnational ideological state, they both do not believe in international law, and sometimes they compete with each other and they fight each other. But when it comes to us, we’re the common enemy and they cooperate.”

 

Asked why the Kingdom is viewed as the common enemy, Prince Khalid said it is because “we are a force of stability, a force of peace, a force of prosperity in the region.”
He added that Iran wants to export its revolution: “Iran has an expansionist ideology. Iran wants other states in the region not to be partners, but to be under the Iranian expansionist project.”
Prince Khalid highlighted US President Donald Trump’s visit to the Kingdom in 2017, his first official foreign trip after taking office, as a significant moment not only for the Saudi Arabia but the entire Muslim World.
“The Saudi-US relationship is strong and it has been strong for seven decades,” he said. “This relationship started with President Roosevelt, who was a Democrat, and has been strengthening since then with different presidents of the United States, Democrats and Republicans.”
He pointed out that this close relationship has benefited both countries economically.
“So this is a continuation of this historic, strong relationship that has protected people from both countries on the security side, and also it has on the economic side created a lot of jobs and opportunities in both countries and helped the economy,” he said. “President Trump’s visit is an important visit to the Muslim world, and I believe that it is vital for the United States to have a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia and the Muslim world.”
The prince added that the speech Trump made during his visit highlighted the fact that the most common victims of terrorist groups are Muslims.
“I think the president’s speech on that visit was very encouraging to Muslim people to see,” he said. “He spoke about counterterrorism and he said that Daesh and the terrorist groups’ victims are mostly Muslims. And it’s very important for the Muslim people to hear the President of the United States mentioning this.”

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