Location: Khartoum, Sudan
Sudan prepares its first female footballers
CUE: Most African countries including Egypt have women playing football. Women in Sudan do not play football due to lack of commitment and support and religious norms. FIFA has ordered every country to have female footballers. Emmanuel Kele found out that Sudan is establishing its first women soccer team and preparing it for international matches.
LINK 1: Football in Sudan which is dominated by men is not as passionate as it is in Egypt. Al Hilal and Al Merriehk, which are the two main rivals in Sudan, have been knocked out of the African Champions League. The performance of Sudan in African competitions is poor. Sudan last participated in the African Cup of Nations in 2008 after three decades of absence.
SFX: Mosque call to pray (dip and keep under) 00:005 Play and fade under
LINK 2: Sudan is an Arab country with society largely governed by Islamic norms and tradition in the north while in the south it is liberal because the population is mostly Christians and animist. About half the population of Sudan are Muslims but the practise of female playing football is poor due to lack of support. Despite the southern part of the country being liberal, women running around in football shorts would be unthinkable in most of Sudan’s society.
SFX…female footballers 00í03î (Dip, play and fade out)
LINK 3: These female footballers who mostly come from southern Sudan are training in the Sudan Academy for Football in the mid-of the capital, Khartoum. This is the first female football team in the country established by the Sudan Football Association under the new rules of the World’s Football Governing Body FIFA for countries to have women soccer team. But people in Khartoum have different opinions on women playing football.
VOICE-VOX-POS: Dur: 00 30
LINK 4: The captain of the newly-formed Sudanese female team, Sara Edward, has been playing football in Sudan for more than ten years, but she did not represent her country at the big world tournaments like the African Cup of Nations or the Olympics. She said practising football in Sudan as a female is a taboo.
VOICE SARA in Arabic Dur: 00í15î: People keep on asking “Why do you play football?” They will say you look like male. But these are different opinions, because if someone loves something he/she will become a professional nothing will prevent him/her.
LINK 5: The first Sudanese female team is being prepared for any international matches. For Sara who is in her mid 20s this will be an achievement of her dreams. But she urged the Sudanese society to support female football in Sudan.
VOICE SARA in Arabic Dur: 00í30î: Development comes when there is commitment, and commitment comes when there is support, and support comes when everyone acknowledges that women can play football.
People are just eyeing on men’s football and men have been dominating football in Sudan for quite a long time.
Since men have failed, let the chances be given to female-so if there is commitment and support, I am sure female football will develop.
SFX: female footballers shouting Dur: 00í03î (Dip, play under and fade out)
LINK 6: Most African countries including Egypt have female footballers. To be at the level of international and professional football Sudan has to exert more efforts in developing the female soccer in the country. The Sudanese Female Coach Mita Michiteru, who is from Japan, is optimistic that women soccer in Sudan will develop.
VOICE MITA: I have been training them for ten months and we will achieve success in the 2011 Olympics and any international match. Yes, I strongly believe that… (Interruption why?), because we have now so many players, now we have forty players, step by step they are developing, but it takes time.
Religious groups and tribal leaders including football fan like Hashim who is a Muslim have so far withheld open support for women’s football in Sudan.
VOICE HASIM: I think football for women should be carried out in closed places and should be watched only by women. But if men do watch women playing football while wearing tight cloths and women appeared half necked in the field, this in my opinion is not ethical.