Sudan’s religious authority the Islamic Fiqh Council in 2012 banned the formation of a national women’s football team in the country, describing it as an immoral act.
The directive prevented many women in the country from pursuing their dreams of becoming professional footballers. But, Salma al-Majidi has surpassed all this to become a football coach, not for female players, but for men.
She was recently acknowledged by FIFA as the first Arab and Sudanese woman to coach a men’s football team. In an interview with AFP, al-Majidi said she began having dreams of pursuing a footballing career at the age of 16, so she asked a coach in charge of a boys’ team if she could work with him.
“At the end of every training session, I discussed with him the techniques he used to coach the boys. He saw I had a knack for coaching and gave me a chance to work with him,” she said.
From there, she started coaching under-13 and under-16 teams. Al-Majidi is now 27 and has already coached four Sudanese men’s clubs. She also has the CAF “B” badge, which means she can coach any first league team across the continent.
She is optimistic of coaching an international team in the near future.