FIFA appoints Saudi’s first female referee in another football first for the Kingdom

Anoud Al-Asmari is the first Saudi woman referee to receive a FIFA badge. (Supplied)

Saudi Arabia’s first female international referee, Anoud al-Asmari, has been appointed by FIFA in a week of football triumphs for the Kingdom.

Al-Asmari was appointed by the international football body on Thursday, less than a year after the debut of Saudi Arabia’s first women’s national team.

“I am happy to be the first Saudi female referee to receive the international badge in the history of Saudi sports,” al-Asmari, one of eight Saudis on the international panel announced by the world body, told AFP.

It comes the same week at Portuguese footballer and five-time Ballon D’or winner Cristiano Ronaldo touched down in Saudi Arabia after his historic signing with the Al Nassr Football Club.

Saudi Arabia has been making a name for itself on the international footballing stage. As the number one sport in Saudi Arabia, football has continued to gain prominence and momentum in recent years especially following the recent victory for the national team over Argentina in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, with the entire squad based in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi women in sports

Al-Asmari’s appointment is also the latest historic milestone for women’s football in Saudi Arabia. In December, the Kingdom submitted its bid to host the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026.

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