Mancini looking for Saudi Arabia fixes against Nigeria as big games loom

Mancini looking for Saudi Arabia fixes against Nigeria as big games loom
Mancini looking for Saudi Arabia fixes against Nigeria as big games loom

Thank you for reading the news about Mancini looking for Saudi Arabia fixes against Nigeria as big games loom and now with the details

Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Saudi Women’s Premier League: what you need to know ahead of the start of second season

Excitement is building in Saudi Arabia ahead of this weekend’s opening round of the new Saudi Women’s Premier League season.

Women’s football around the world is riding the crest of a wave at the moment after the stunning success of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand just a few months ago.

The tournament shone a light on the rapid development of the women’s game globally, and while Saudi Arabia may not have been at the tournament, several world stars who did participate will now be turning out in the SWPL.

In just its second season, the SWPL has already taken enormous leaps forward from the inaugural campaign that saw Al-Nassr crowned champions in a thrilling title fight.

A new era awaits

While the inaugural campaign was a stunning success, the 2023-24 season already promises to be bigger and better thanks to a pair of exciting new initiatives.

Firstly, just this week the Saudi Arabia Football Federation inked a deal with Pepsi Co. for their sub-brand Lay’s to become the title sponsor for the SWPL, highlighting the commercial value of the league and marking the largest sponsorship of women’s sport in Saudi Arabia.

“Our partnership with Lay’s for the Saudi Women’s Football League is a testament to the growing support and recognition of women’s sports in Saudi Arabia,” Lamia Bahaian, vice-president of the SAFF, said.

“The league’s expansion, with the backing of Lay’s, is a significant step forward in achieving our objectives to nurture and showcase the incredible talent of female footballers in our nation.

“Together, we are working towards a future where women’s football takes its rightful place on the global stage and inspires young girls across Saudi Arabia and beyond.”

Secondly, and perhaps even more substantially, the entire season will be broadcast on TV in Saudi Arabia for the first time, via the Saudi Sports Co., promising a bigger and wider audience.

From the world to Saudi Arabia

Moroccan international Ibtissam Jraidi made history when she became the first Saudi Arabia-based player to play and score at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. But based on the influx of global stars in the off-season, she will not be the last.

Clubs all across the league have made a number of headline-grabbing signings, perhaps none more so than Al-Ittihad with their signing of English-born Nigerian international Ashleigh Plumptre.

The 25-year-old, who left Women’s Super League side Leicester City at the end of last season, played all four games for Nigeria at the recent Women’s World Cup and was reportedly courted by the likes of Manchester United in the off-season.

But it was Al-Ittihad who snared her signature, signaling that the ambition of Saudi Arabia in the women’s game is as high as that of the men’s.

Plumptre is far from alone in Jeddah, however, with Al-Ittihad also signing Morocco’s Women’s World Cup star Salma Amani, former Liverpool defender Leighanne Robe and young Swedish striker Nor Mustafa, who recently played for West Ham.

When you add in the appointment of experienced coach Kelly Lindsey, the Jeddah-based outfit have clearly signaled their intent ahead of the new season.

More big stars coming

Lineth Cedeno, who scored for Panama against France at the Women’s World Cup, is headed to Riyadh to join Al-Hilal as they look to go one better than last season after finishing as runners-up to crosstown rivals Al-Nassr.

Pakistan’s captain Maria Khan has joined Shua’lat Al-Sharqia, or the Eastern Flames, in Dammam, as has former Blackburn defender Erica Cunningham and Nigerian international Tochukwu Oluehi, who was part of the Super Falcons’ squad at the recent Women’s World Cup.

Another Nigerian international, veteran attacker Rita Chikwelu, has signed with Al-Shabab, as has Venezuelan international Oriana Altuve, who was previously one of the leading scorers in Spain’s Liga F with Rayo Vallecano.

Meanwhile, Rania Salmi, a Moroccan international, has joined her international teammate Jraidi at Al-Ahli.

New teams and storylines galore

While the league remains at eight teams, which will grow to 10 next year, this season welcomes two new sides in Al-Riyadh and Al-Qadisiyah, replacing relegated Sama and Al-Yamamah.

While Sama proved to be uncompetitive last season, losing all 14 games and conceding a staggering 173 goals, the two new teams this season promise to make things far more competitive and that can only be a good thing for the league.

How the new teams fare, with a host of big-name signings of their own — like former Brazil international Rayanne Machado and former Spanish international Miriam Dieguez — will be fascinating to watch, with just one team facing the drop this season as the league looks to expand to 10 teams.

The race for the title looks to be wide open again, with Al-Ittihad surely the team to beat after their heavy investment in playing and coaching talent. Last year they ended 14 points off the pace.

With so much attention on their big-name signings, just what impact they can have on Al-Ittihad’s fortunes, and those of the league, will be intriguing to watch unfold.

Last season’s top two — Riyadh rivals Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal — have only strengthened and should also be in the mix for silverware come the end of the season.

Or could there be a bolter in the mix to upset the established order? Could Al-Shabab usurp their Riyadh rivals? Can the inspirational story of Shua’lat Al-Sharqia add an exciting new chapter?

This promises to be another exciting season in the Saudi Women’s Premier League.

These were the details of the news Mancini looking for Saudi Arabia fixes against Nigeria as big games loom for this day. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information. To follow all our news, you can subscribe to the alerts system or to one of our different systems to provide you with all that is new.

It is also worth noting that the original news has been published and is available at Arab News and the editorial team at AlKhaleej Today has confirmed it and it has been modified, and it may have been completely transferred or quoted from it and you can read and follow this news from its main source.

NEXT Jeddah hosts Saudi Smash 2024 table tennis championship from May 1-11

Author Information

I am Joshua Kelly and I focus on breaking news stories and ensuring we (“Al-KhaleejToday.NET”) offer timely reporting on some of the most recent stories released through market wires about “Services” sector. I have formerly spent over 3 years as a trader in U.S. Stock Market and is now semi-stepped down. I work on a full time basis for Al-KhaleejToday.NET specializing in quicker moving active shares with a short term view on investment opportunities and trends. Address: 838 Emily Drive Hampton, SC 29924, USA Phone: (+1) 803-887-5567 Email: [email protected]