WWE’s Samoa Joe declares entry into Saudi’s Greatest Royal Rumble, talks return

SOURCE: Al Arabiya English

Time: April 04, 2018

For as long as Samoe Joe has been in the business, for as long as he’s been considered one of the best pro wrestlers in the world, he’s been underestimated. The thing about Joe is he doesn’t mind. Few thought he would come to the WWE. Then in 2015, he debuted in its developmental brand NXT. Few thought he would make it to the top. Then, through his championship reign, he helped elevate the NXT to a powerful touring brand in its own right. Even WWE didn’t think he would make it to the main roster on the company’s flagship program WWE Raw, according to Joe, but he knew he would, and so he did.

Since debuting, he’s established himself as one of the top talents on the brand, performing with a ferocious intensity, focus and controlled brutality that has produced some genuinely unsettling moments, leading to matches imbued with combat sport legitimacy.

In early 2018, he was injured, delaying his chase for the WWE Universal championship. While it’s been reported he’s near ready, even staying backstage at television tapings, he has yet to reappear, though he’s promised me he will compete in the upcoming Greatest Royal Rumble in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on April 27, entering the first-ever 50-man rumble.

Read our full conversation below:

What are your thoughts on the upcoming Greatest Royal Rumble in Jeddah?

I’m really looking forward to it. I think it’s a very unique set of circumstances as far as the rumble goes, and I’m looking forward to competing in it and winning it, that’s quite a feather in your cap that you won the greatest royal rumble of all time.

Daniel Bryan told me recently he thinks it could end up being more important than WrestleMania. Do you agree with that sentiment?

Yes I do. The fan base is expanding on much more of a global scale, and I think WWE recognizes that we have fans all over the world and we’re adjusting our schedules to accommodate that so we can tour and go out there and see those fans, no matter where they may be. I think the Middle East is a key market for anybody. There’s people there that want to see great entertainment, have a great time. When you come to a WWE event, you see that enough spectacle and you get that type of entertainment. I think it’s very key and very important to the growth of WWE as a whole. I look forward to seeing how the WWE Universe of Saudi Arabia reacts.

Will you take time to explore Jeddah, or is your trip strictly business?

I’m looking forward to experiencing Saudi Arabia. One of the great perks of my job in traveling so much is that I’ve had the opportunity to experience and be around a lot of cultures up close and personally and experience them for myself. I look forward to going to Saudi Arabia because it’s an opportunity that not many people get here in the States. I very much look forward to coming over, seeing what Saudi Arabia is like, meeting the people, walking the streets, experiencing the culture and understanding it more.

You wrote an impassioned note after your friend Daniel Bryan was forced to retire in February 2016. What are your thoughts now that he has worked to get back and has been cleared to wrestle in a WWE ring again?

Obviously whenever you speak of people that you consider friends throughout your career, you always look upon that news with a little bit of trepidation, only because I care about Daniel Bryan’s well-being as a person. I would hate to see anything permanently bad happen to him. At the same time, I know he’s been fighting the fight really hard the past few years, and do everything within his power to medically prove that he’s capable and fit to compete in the ring. Knowing Bryan as long as I’ve known him, if he’s attacked that with the same ferocity that he’s attacked his abilities as a professional wrestler, I have no doubt that he’s ready to get back in that ring and I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s able to do.

Have you spoken to him about it?

No, not yet. I’m sure we’ll speak about it at some point soon.

How has your recovery from injury gone?

It’s been good. To be honest, I think this was more of a culmination of old nagging things that I never really took care of before. I just didn’t have time. Injuries occur, it’s an unfortunate side effect of the business. It’s not my first one, and sure won’t be my last, but back up and running, feeling pretty good, and we’ll see what the future holds here.

Have you been champing at the bit to get back in the ring watching from the locker room?

As anybody knows me, it’s always hard whenever I’m not in the game, I think is the best way to put it. People know that I don’t like it and I’m not the most fun person to be around during those times, but also at this point I understand how important it is to be ready to go and be 100% healthy. I feel pretty good. Doctors seem pretty positive about everything. Maybe I’m just waiting to unleash at a certain time, we’ll see.

What’s on your agenda once you come back?

Obviously I’ll always have my eyes on the Universal championship. It’s something that’s eluded me just barely, and I’ll be the first to tell you that I should be in there beating up Brock Lesnar not Roman. Obviously Roman has been through his trials and tribulations and he’s made a case for being in there, but it’s always hard sitting on the sidelines when you should be in there hitting home runs. We’ll see what transpires.

What are your thoughts on Brock Lesnar potentially leaving WWE?

For however I feel about Brock, I’ll never doubt his business acumen as a combat athlete, and Brock and Paul are very intelligent individuals so whatever they’re future holds I’m sure they planned it out, but it’d be a shame for him to leave before I beat him up.

Would you consider tag team wrestling, if, say, someone like Braun Strowman needed a partner?

Braun out here talking about how he doesn’t get along well with other people, but I’m terrible at it. That sounds like something that’s very enticing to the fans, but I’m sure two minutes in I’d be punching him in the head.

You had huge success in NXT. Who do you want to see come up from NXT to Raw next?

There’s so many talented individuals down there. Top of the list, obviously the champ [Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas]. He’s a bad dude. He’s proven time and time again that he’s ready to go. If ‘Cien’ wants to bring that 100 up here, I wouldn’t be surprised. Aleister Black I don’t think is any surprise to anybody, he’s a tremendously, unlimitedly talented athlete and I would expect that eyes would be on him sooner rather than later. Velveteen Dream, Lars Sullivan, two tremendous athletes that really caught my eye. I like their style and I like what they’re doing out there. Heavy Machinery and the Authors of Pain, two massive, mean tag teams. They could do a lot in this tag team division. We’ve got guys like the Bludgeon Brothers, the New Day, and the Usos, who are incredible. We’ve got these really great tag teams and these hungry young wrecking crews waiting to come up. I think next year is going to be a very good year for tag team wrestling.

A lot of wrestlers I talk to don’t have a chance to watch much wrestling because of the demands of the schedule. In your time off, have you had a chance to watch anything, and what has caught your eye?

It’s funny. I think I watch things now and keep up with things, but I watch more non current things than current things. Random guys will get a call from me about a match they had three months ago, like ‘hey man, that thing you did was pretty good.’ They’ll be like ‘wow that was forever ago’. I’ll be like ‘I just got around to watching it now.’ I do watch a lot of wrestling, but it’s totally out of date. I’d be like man, Les Kellett, you’ve got amazing interviews! [Laughs] It’s all over the place.

Roman and Samoa Joe (R) battle during the WWE show at Zenith Arena on may 09, 2017 in Lille, France. (AFP)

Let me put it this way, I’m up to date with what’s going on but I don’t get to watch the matches either months later when by happenstance either a YouTube clip or a CD comes across my way that might have the match on it.

You had huge success against Brock Lesnar last year. What was your ethos behind that feud?

When it comes to my approach to how I handle a feud, I try to make it very visceral, very real, and I try to get in their face, and make people uncomfortable. That’s what I do. I’m not going to sit back and trade a bunch of dialogue with you. If I do, it’s going to be very poignant, and very snappy dialogue. That’s basically it. I just try to do my best to make the tension feel a bit amped up any time I’m in the ring.

What’s your relationship with Vince McMahon like?

I’m terrible at small talk, so me and Vince’s relationship is—I don’t want to say dispassionate, but when we have talks, they’re very brief, short, we lay out a few things and I go from there. It’s not a lot of, ‘hey how are you doin’, how’s this, how’s that’. It’s calling the play, what do we need to get done, and I go out and get it done.

Do you get as much satisfaction out of wrestling as you did at the start of your career?

In some aspects more so than it did when I started my career. When you start your career, you have a very limited view of accomplishment and what satiates you and what makes you satisfied. When I started out, it was just hearing maybe five people in the crowd maybe dug what I did, and I felt good. Now, being able to come in here, make an impact in the main event scene, that means a lot to me. It’s a more business-minded aspect to where I know that I’m contributing to this company, that I’m making it stronger and making it better. That started down in NXT. My goal in NXT was to help build it from developmental to an international touring brand, and we accomplished that.

Now that I’m here in the WWE, I want to drive people to the matches like the 2017 SummerSlam main event, I want to make this must-see TV. these are the greater heights that you find satisfaction in. If you leave your expectations and your satisfaction with what you started in your wrestling career, you will become miserable because you’ll become numb to it. You have to adjust your goals according to your career path. That’s something that I’ve been able to do, so it’s kept me interested in what I’m doing.

What is your approach to the producing weekly TV? How have you adjusted to the WWE style of storytelling?

When I’m brought here, you’re almost presented with a puzzle in some senses, where it’s like, we need to get these things across, and this is the framework in which we have to do it. A lot of people would be like, from an artistic standpoint, oh I can’t work under these conditions! I’ve always been under the school of thought that the great artists will find a way to make it work whatever the conditions. It’s definitely a mindset-based approach as opposed to, ‘I should be free and do whatever I want! If I want to pain on the walls I’ll pain on the walls!’ No, you provide me a canvas and I’ll do my best to make a masterpiece. That’s how I’ve approached this, and a lot of my guys in my position have varying thoughts on it, and I don’t knock them for their thoughts. What we do is art in a form, and so how you choose to express it is how you choose to express it. But if you can do it with restrictions on you and still make something fantastic, I think that’s something special too.

Have you passed on wisdom to any of the younger talent?

To those who have asked. I’m not big on preaching to an unwilling mass. Several guys have, and I feel it is a great honor, when guys have come to bounce ideas off of me, throwing around technique ideas, and I’ve always been more than willing to offer an opinion, but I’ll always preface it by saying, I’m not saying this is the right way, but this is one way. There’s 22 million ways to skin a cat, and so whoever does it the prettiest that makes it work out. If you like the things that I offer up, cool. If you don’t, that’s fine also.

What is your main goal overall in WWE?

I think my biggest thing overall is leaving lasting memories with fans. Years from now, they can look back on fondly, and say, remember that moment? It was huge! Or it made me feel a certain way, or was polarizing in a certain fashion. That’s the thing that I’m most looking forward to doing.

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Cricket is the second most popular sport in Saudi Arabia

Source Wikipedia

Date: 30.03.2018

Cricket

Cricket is the second most popular sport in Saudi Arabia, largely due to the increasing number of South Asian expatriates who play the game during their spare time. However during recent years cricket has generated interest among many Arab locals, such as Faique Habib and Nadim Al Nadwi, who have both represented Saudi Arabia at national level. Currently there are over 8000 Saudi cricketers, with nearly 20 percent being local Arabs, and the majority of the rest coming from countries such as PakistanIndia and Sri Lanka.

There are many cricket associations Saudi Arabia, with Yanbu Al Sinaiyah Cricket Association being the largest. Each major city has its own organisation which holds its own domestic cup for each format.

Since 2010 Saudi Arabia has gained quite a lot of fame for its style of cricket, as it has won several regional tournaments on turf, even though back home players only play on concrete. Saudi Arabia’s biggest win to date was in September 2016, where they beat a Namibian national side by 141 runs. 2 months later they also won their first major series which came in the form of a quadrangular series also involving KenyaUganda and Qatar.

Saudi Arabia’s greatest cricketer is Shoaib Ali, who has contributed to major victories both home and away, and who has captained the nation since 2008. He is a bowling all rounder who made his debut against Thailand in the 2008 ACC Under-19 Challenge Cup.

Sports in Saudi Arabia

SOURCE: Saudi Embassy

Mar 30, 2018

Water Sports

Some of the world’s most beautiful living coral reefs are located beneath both the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf.

A paradise for scuba divers and snorkelers, these coastal areas offer endless hours of underwater exploration.

Wind surfing, sailing and water skiing are also popular pastimes in the Gulf and Red Sea waters along the Saudi coast.

Also, some of the world’s best deep-sea fishing can be found in the Red Sea. The Coastal Sports Cities in Jeddah and Al-Khobar and other clubs offer opportunities for a variety of water sports and recreational activities.

Both traditional and modern sports are popular in Saudi Arabia. The people of the Arabian Peninsula have enjoyed sports for thousands of years, including horse and camel racing, falconry and hunting with hounds. Today, modern sports are also popular – especially soccer.

A special effort has been made to encourage sports and make them accessible to the public. Hundreds of facilities have been established throughout the Kingdom so that all Saudis can exercise regularly or enjoy popular spectator sports.

In addition, all levels of the Saudi educational system – from kindergarten through university – emphasize the importance of sports.

Modern sports

Soccer is by far the most popular modern sport in Saudi Arabia. Saudis of all ages have taken the game to heart, from children scrimmaging on playgrounds to international matches battled out in spectacular modern stadiums.

There is a professional Saudi soccer league that is wildly popular among Saudis – friends and families often gather to cheer on their favorite teams, both on television and in stadiums. The highlight of the Saudi soccer league is its championship tournament known as the King’s Cup. Fans also avidly follow the Saudi Arabian national soccer team in World Cup competition.

In addition to soccer, other organized sports have gained a following among Saudis, including volleyball, gymnastics, swimming and basketball.

Saudi Arabia has a number of first-class golf courses. American expatriates introduced golf to Saudi Arabia in the late 1940s when they created a course in the sand near Dhahran. They mixed oil with the sand to keep the course from blowing away, a method that is still used in the Kingdom. Today, there are lush, green courses in that look like they belong in the tropics.

Sports facilities

The Kingdom has a number of different types of sports facilities, ranging from major sports complexes to neighborhood facilities and clubs.

The huge sports complexes, called Sports Cities, are located in large population centers. Each complex has a stadium that can seat between 10,000 and 60,000 people, an indoor stadium seating 5,000, Olympic-size swimming pools, indoor and outdoor courts, playgrounds, conference halls, and sports medicine clinics.

Smaller than the Sports Cities, neighborhood sports facilities and playgrounds were built in large urban areas so that young Saudis can play sports like basketball and volleyball near their homes. These centers offer parks, open spaces, and facilities for indoor activities.

Local sports clubs are located in all cities and towns. They offer a range of facilities for different sports, including soccer fields, indoor and outdoor courts, swimming pools, playgrounds, recreational areas and accommodations for youth camps. These clubs organize local events throughout the year.

Development of Sports

The introduction of a national education system in the 1950s was the first step in the development of modern sports in Saudi Arabia. An integral part of the education system, sports spread throughout the country as new schools were built in large cities and small towns alike.

The development of sports acquired momentum with the introduction of the First Development Plan (1970-74). At the time, a decision was made to establish a nationwide network of sports facilities that could be enjoyed and used by all. The plan called for the construction of sports and athletic facilities, the establishment of recreational programs and the creation of clubs for the Kingdom’s youth.

A further step in encouraging public participation in sporting activities was taken in 1974 with the establishment of the General Presidency of Youth Welfare (GPYW). Its mandate is to make sporting, recreational and cultural facilities and events accessible to young Saudis throughout the country and to get as many people interested and involved in these activities as possible.

The presidency’s activities complement those of the Ministry of Education, which is responsible for maintaining physical education programs within the school system, and the Ministry of Higher Education, which oversees sports programs at Saudi Arabia’s universities and colleges. Today, schools, colleges and universities emphasize sports as an integral part of their curriculum.

Outside the country’s educational system, the GPYW is the primary provider of sports facilities and programs. With almost unlimited moral and material support from Saudi leaders, the GPYW has put into place a formidable sports structure and program that covers the entire country. Based on studies on population density and needs in various parts of the Kingdom, the GPYW initiated a three-tier program.

The first provides for the establishment of huge sports complexes — called Sports Cities — in major population centers. These gigantic facilities are scattered throughout Saudi Arabia, and more are being built. Each has a multipurpose stadium with a seating capacity of between 10,000 and 60,000, a 5,000-seat indoor stadium, Olympic-size swimming pools, indoor and outdoor courts and playgrounds, cafeterias, halls for conferences and clinics for sports medicine.

The second tier of the GPYW’s sports program concentrates on establishing smaller neighborhood sports facilities and playgrounds in large urban centers where young Saudis can play basketball, volleyball and other sports near their homes. In addition to parks and open spaces, these centers also have buildings where indoor recreational activities can be arranged.

The third tier focuses on making sports facilities available in smaller population centers by establishing Sports Clubs in all cities and towns. Although not as large as the Sports Cities, these clubs meet the needs of residents of towns and villages. Differing in size according to the number of residents of the town, the clubs offer a range of facilities for different sports, including soccer fields, indoor and outdoor courts, swimming pools, playgrounds, recreational areas and accommodations for youth camps.

Sports training programs in a diverse range of fields from archery to soccer are available to Saudis of every age at the country’s sports facilities, large and small. Though open to all, they are intended to introduce young Saudis to various sporting activities and offer training at different levels. In addition to building sports facilities, the GPYW has also introduced programs to encourage their use by the general public. To achieve that objective, it has introduced a program of annual events on the local and national levels at all its facilities. These include competition in local leagues, ‘Sports for All’ gatherings and ‘Folk Games Days’.

GPYW sports clubs organize neighborhood and local sporting events throughout the year. The more accomplished athletes are sent by these clubs to participate in the 200 or so annual district and national sports events organized by the GPYW. Athletes who excel at these events are enrolled in special training camps for serious local and national competition. Twenty youth sports camps throughout the country host thousands of young Saudis every year. Equipped with modern sleeping, dining, sports and recreational facilities, they offer sports training in an atmosphere that emphasizes Saudi Arabia’s heritage.

The best young athletes emerging from these programs are then selected for intensive training to represent Saudi Arabia in international events. The Kingdom’s 18 sports federations, which are supervised by the GPYW, organize leagues and tournaments for these athletes to sharpen their skills. Additionally, athletes and teams attend more than 40 sporting events outside the country each year and participate in major international sporting events inside the Kingdom.

International Competition

Saudi Arabia’s extensive sports program has brought about not only a quantitative growth of sports, but also a dramatic qualitative improvement. The performance of Saudi athletes has improved steadily since the Kingdom joined the International Olympic Committee in 1965.

Since the early 1980s, Saudi athletes have proudly represented the Kingdom in an increasing number of regional and international competitions. The Saudi soccer team qualified for its first appearance in 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

In 1989, Saudi Arabia hosted the fifth World Youth Soccer Cup Championship, won the championship, and received a special commendation from FIFA, the international soccer federation, for the outstanding manner in which it has organized the event.

In 1994, the Saudi national soccer team represented Asia at the World Cup finals in the United States, reached the second round, and received accolades for their playing. Saudi Arabia continues to participate in the World Cup every four years.

The Kingdom also participated in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, with competitors in the equestrian, wrestling, and track and field events as well as in soccer.

In 2006, Saudi Arabia won the Learning Disability World Cup for soccer in Leverkusen, Germany.

Saudi Arabia is also home to several Little League baseball teams, one of which has qualified over a dozen times for the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Saudi Arabia to host first pro golf tournament

SOURCE: Arab News

March 08, 2018

PARIS: Saudi Arabia will stage its first European Tour golf event in 2019 as the kingdom opens its doors a little more to professional sport, it was announced on Thursday.
The tournament, the first in a three-year partnership, will take place from January 31 to February 3, 2019, and will be staged at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City on the Red Sea coastline.
Plans were finalized this week during the visit to London of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the man seen as the oil-rich country’s key driver of reform.
“We are very excited to be talking the first steps toward bringing professional golf to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the first time and I must thank His Royal Majesty, Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for his vision in making this happen,” said European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.
The new Saudi tournament will form part of the early season Gulf desert swing which already includes tournaments in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar and Oman.
“I hope that this event will inspire more Saudis to take up the game and show that, as a nation, we can host sporting events of this calibre,” said Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan, the president of the Saudi Arabian Golf Federation.
Saudi Arabia has witnessed a number of steps forward in sports organization this year with a first-ever professional women’s squash tournament staged in Riyadh and women allowed into stadiums to watch local league football matches.

Female teachers join sports training program in 3 major Saudi cities

Time: March 3, 2018 

JEDDAH: A youth leadership initiative run by the British Council KSA and the UK-based Youth Sports Trust, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, has almost completed its training tour in the three main provinces in Saudi Arabia.
The initiative focuses on raising awareness of the importance of physical education (PE), through helping sports teachers and young students to drive passion and fun for sports in their communities. It aims to increase society’s fitness level by creating an atmosphere of healthy entertainment.
This initiative has covered almost 52 schools in the three main provinces of Saudi Arabia: Riyadh, Jeddah and the Eastern Province. It started in the three main cities because they are well-equipped to hold sports events and festivals.
Lamia Al-Issa, the general supervisor at the Ministry of Education, told Arab News: “Through this program, we aim to achieve 60-70 percent of one of Saudi Arabia’s 2030 primary goals, which is to increase the percentage of individuals exercising at least once a week from 13 to 40 percent of the population.”
The ministry aims to expand the program and provide PE coaches in the rest of the Kingdom, with the opportunity to benefit from such training programs. Fifty-two female coaches from different areas of the three main provinces have benefited from this training tour.
Mona Al-Shehri, English and physical education teacher for 6th grade students, one of the coaches participating in the program, told Arab News: “I think this is a unique experience as it is the first time it has been held in Saudi Arabia. The program gives rise to a new generation that will be more aware physically and health-wise.”
Coaches receive intensive training for two weeks. The second week is a practical application of what the coaches learn in the first week.
The training program focuses on building leadership and team-building skills, and increasing fitness awareness among students and teachers through engaging in creative activities.
Al-Shehri said: “We also engage with the young female leaders to direct them to plan a safe and enjoyable sports festival, which includes around 100 female elementary-school students.
“The young leaders are trained to choose different creative and innovative activities to develop their own leadership skills, and then to be able to build teams and achieve success. This way, the young leaders become sports ambassadors within their society and community.”
In realizing the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and supporting the theme of having a vibrant society with fulfilling lives, PE classes have been gradually implemented in all-girls schools this academic year, 2017-2018.
According to Al-Issa, there is a dedicated team preparing and constructing the coming year’s curricula, to be able to deliver an appropriate program to benefit our students.
Youth Sports Trust is an international charity based in the UK that is passionate about building a brighter future for young people through PE and sport.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News

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Football in Saudi Arabia

SOURCE: Wikipedia

Mar 1, 2018

Football in Saudi Arabia
Country Saudi Arabia
Governing body Saudi Arabia Football Federation
National team men’s national team
National competitions
Saudi Professional League
Club competitions
King Cup
International competitions
AFC Cup
AFC Champions League
FIFA World Cup
Asian Cup

Football is the most popular sport in Saudi Arabia.[1] Football in Saudi Arabia is governed by Saudi Arabia Football Federation (Arabic: الاتحاد السعودي لكرة القدم‎). It was founded in the year of 1956.[2] It performs the function of administering both the club competitions and the national football team of Saudi Arabia.

The founder of Saudi Arabia Football Federation is Prince Abdullah bin Faisal al Saud.

Contents

History

King Fahd International Stadium.

National Football team

The Saudi Arabia national football team (Arabic: منتخب السعودية لكرة القدم‎), known to its fans as Al-Saqour which means The Falcons. Saudi Arabia is one of the most successful football teams in Asia. Saudi Arabia has won the Asian Championship 3 times and has qualified for the FIFA World Cup four times, the first of which was in 1994.

Saudi Arabia has a major rivalry with Iran.

League

The Saudi Professional League is the highest level of competition in the country. In the 1970s, football was organized on a regional basis across Saudi Arabia.[3] Since 2013, the Saudi Pro League has been sponsored by the Abdul Latif Jameel company.

In 1976–77, with the improvement of transportation links as well as local football, the Saudi Professional League was launched on a national basis. 8 clubs participated in the first season of the tournament.

In 1981, a decision was taken by the Saudi Arabia Football Federation to increase the number of clubs, thereby increasing the league to 18 clubs, 8 of which take part in the 1st League, with another 10 competing in the 2nd League. In the 1985–85 season the number of clubs in the 1st League was increased to 12 clubs.

In 1990, a new league championship was also introduced, known as The Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques League Cup. It was a 2-stage competition – round robin and knockout-phase. The top 4 teams (knowns as the Golden Square) from the round robin moved to the knock-out phase to compete for the final championship.

In 2007–08 season, The Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques Champions Cup was introduced for the more elite teams to compete for. 8 teams play in that competition which includes top 6 teams of the 1st League plus the winner of the Crown Prince Cup and the winner of the Prince Faisal Cup.

National Team[4]

National Ranking

As of 30 August 2017, Saudi Arabia was placed 59 on the FIFA World Ranking.

Achievements

League of Saudi Arabia

There are 3 Divisions in the League of Saudi Arabia:

  • Saudi Professional League – 16 Clubs (Expanded from 14 starting from 2018–19 season)
  • [[Prince Mohammad bin Salman League) – 20 Clubs (Expanded from 16 starting from 2018–19 season)
  • Second Division – 24 Clubs (Expanded from 20 starting from 2018–19 season)

Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority and Saudi Arabian Football Federation announce next steps in LaLiga partnership to grow football in Saudi Arabia

SOURCE:Laliga

21 JAN 2018

Nine players from Saudi Arabia to join Spanish football clubs on loan; academies, coaching and scouting programs kick off.

The General Sports Authority (GSA) of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Arabian Football federation (SAFF) and LaLiga, the internationally renowned Spanish football league, today announced key next steps in their partnership to grow the game of football in Saudi Arabia.

First announced in October, the multi-year partnership has multiple elements including an academy partnership and a talent scouting initiative for young footballers in Saudi Arabia.

At an event in Riyadh today seven clubs from LaLiga Santander and LaLiga 1│2│3, the first and second division of Spain’s professional football competition, respectively, announced that they will take 9 players from Saudi Arabia on loan. These loan agreements, for an initial period of six months, allow these players to further develop their skills training and playing in Spain.

The incorporation of players from Saudi Arabia in the Spanish clubs follows a rigorous scouting program that spanned multiple months to identify the best talent.  Players coming to Spain include three players from Saudi Arabia’s national team that were instrumental in their nation qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup: Salem Al Dawsari, Fahad Mowallad and Yahia Sahari. They will join teams of Spanish first division clubs. Other talent coming to Spain will join second division and youth teams.

“Football is the most popular sport in Saudi Arabia. Along with the Saudi football federation we are committed to give the youth the chance to achieve their objectives and play football at the highest level possible,” said H.E. Turky Al-Alsheikh, chairman of the General Sport Authority of Saudi Arabia. “It is GSA’s ongoing and long-term objective to develop football and elevating its level in the kingdom while also creating the new generation of footballers.”

For the Spanish clubs, adding players from Saudi Arabia not only expands their squads, it also means added exposure in the Arab world. LaLiga already is the most popular international league in the region, the incorporation of players from Saudi Arabia in both first and second division clubs is sure to increase the audience and expand commercial opportunities.

As part of the agreement with LaLiga, SAFF is also working to create local football academies in Saudi Arabia under the brand, technical supervision, and expertise of LaLiga. It aims to provide the best football training methods to young Saudi players allowing them to attain sufficient skills through a long term training process. It also aims to work with football coaches across the country to develop coaching skills and methodologies over the coming years.

Professional Players Clubs
  LaLiga Santander
Yahia Sahiri Leganés
Fahad Muwallad Levante
Salmam Al Dawsari Villareal
   
  LaLiga 123
Ali Al Namer Numancia
Abdulmajeed Al Sulaiheem Rayo Vallecano
Abdullah Alhamdan Sporting de Gijón
Nooh Al Mousa Valladolid
   
Academy Players  
Marwan Othmnan Leganés
Jabor Issa Villareal

Saudi Arabia hosts its first professional women’s squash tournament

SOURCE: The National

January 8, 2018

It comes amid a slew of reforms spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that include a lifting of restrictions on women

The first professional women’s squash tournament to be hosted by Saudi Arabia has kicked off in Riyadh.

The tournament, which began on Sunday and will end on Friday, is the first women’s squash World Series event of 2018 and comes amid a slew of reforms spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that include a lifting of restrictions on women.

On Friday, Saudi women will for the first time be allowed to enter sports stadiums to watch football matches between local teams. It follows the lifting of a ban on women driving which is set to be implemented in June.

The Saudi Women’s Masters squash tournament has no qualifying rounds meaning that the 32 players taking part go straight into the draw, including the Saudi wild card, Nada Abo Al Naja. The top seed is Egyptian world number one Nour El Sherbini.

The players will be battling it out for the tournament’s lucrative prize fund of US$165,000 (Dh605,962).

Ziad Al Turki, the chairman of the Professional Squash Association (PSA), the sport’s global governing body, is Saudi himself.

According to the PSA, at a dinner ahead of the Saudi women’s tournament hosted by Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, president of the Saudi Federation for Community Sports, Mr Al Turki said: “Things are changing in Saudi, and they are changing fast. Win or lose, you are making history.”

PSA World Tour

@PSAWorldTour

? “Things are changing in Saudi, and they are changing fast. Win or lose, you are making history,” – Inspirational words from PSA Chairman @zalturki at the official tournament dinner ahead of the Saudi PSA Masters ?

Read our preview here ⬇️http://ow.ly/Pku830hCO7c 

On December 1, Mr Al Turki tweeted that wild card player Abo Al Naja would become the first Saudi woman to play in a PSA tournament.

Ziad Al-Turki

@zalturki

Congratulations to Nada Aboalnaga for being chosen as the Saudi Wildcard. 1st Saudi Female to join the

British player Sarah-Jane Perry, who is ranked sixth in the world, tweeted that she was “proud” to be a part of the first Saudi women’s tournament.

“It was amazing to be hosted by Princess Reema tonight and hear how truly passionate she is about sport in Saudi. Thanks to @zalturki for persisting in making your dream a reality and facilitating us to live ours #groundbreaking,” she added.

Sarah-Jane Perry@SJPerry15

Proud to be a part of this. It was amazing to be hosted by Princess Reema tonight and hear how truly passionate she is about sport in Saudi. Thanks to @zalturki for persisting in making your dream a reality and facilitating us to live ours @WomenSportTrust https://twitter.com/psaworldtour/status/949251022303657984 

Saudi female athletes in Arab Women Sports

SOURCE: Saudi Gazette 
Dec 19, 2017
SAUDI ARABIA is participating in five events with five clubs, namely United Basketball, the Green Jeddah Table Tennis, Saudi Arabia Fencing Federation Academy, Prince Nora University’s Athletics Club and one other, yet to be named, which will take part in the karate competition.

Sixty-nine clubs from 17 Arab countries have so far registered to compete in the fourth edition of the Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST), with more expected to sign up before the 11-day event begins on Feb. 2 at 10 venues across Sharjah, according to organziers.The Supreme Organizing Committee (SOC) of AWST 2018 has confirmed that the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, Palestine, Sudan, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Djibouti will all be participating.

Themed ‘The World is Your Court, Together Victorious’, the tournament, organized by the Sharjah Women’s Sports Foundation (SWSF), will be held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawahar Bint Mohammed Al Qasmi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah and chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA) and chairperson of SWSF.

The clubs will compete in AWST’s nine sports: basketball, volleyball, table tennis, fencing, archery, shooting, athletics, show jumping, and karate – which will be held for the first time – flying the flags for their countries in world class international arenas across the emirate.

Nada Askar Al Naqbi, deputy head of AWST’s SOC, head of its Executive Committee and director General of SWSF, said: “We are extremely pleased with the response to AWST 2018, which has demonstrated the tournament’s leading status as a pan-Arab sporting event for women, attracting not just the highest number of athletes and clubs from the Arab world, but the highest quality. And we are expecting even more entries, which will add further to AWST’s presence on a worldwide sporting platform.”

Al Naqbi pointed out that the increasing number of participants also reflects the success of promotional tours and media campaigns carried out by AWST’s SOC in Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Jordan under the directives of Sheikha Jawaher.

With the most comprehensive field of athletes, the UAE is taking part in each of the tournament’s nine disciplines represented by Sharjah Sports Club.

Bahrain and Algeria each have eight clubs across eight disciplines. Bahraini clubs include Bahrain Shooting, Alhala Fencing, Bahrain Karate Academy, Bahrain Archery, Al Basateen Athletics, Al Muharraq Volleyball, Bahrain Table Tennis, Ministry of Youth and Sports Mawaheb Basketball Club, and one other in show-jumping.

Jordan will participate in four disciplines with clubs Fuheis Volleyball, Women’s Sports Table Tennis Association, Women’s Athletics Association and Women’s Karate Association.

Egypt will compete with four clubs in four sports: Alexandria Sporting Basketball Club, Mo’tah Volleyball, Al Jawad Equestrian Club and Nepocan Karate Club. Somalia will also have four clubs in four disciplines – Mogadishu Basketball Club, Al Qanah Shooting Club, Al Masry Equestrian Club and Al Ahli Bank Karate Club.

Yemen will be represented in the tournament with the Girls Sports Club, which will take part in shooting, karate and archery, while Palestine will participate with two clubs, Al Wasl Volleyball Club and Al Wusta Archery Club.

Libya will be represented by Al Quds Equestrian Club, Al Istiqlal Athletics Club and Bait Al Magdis Karate Club, while Oman will field Sahar Volleyball Club, Qurayyat Shooting Club and Reyadhat Athletics.

Kuwait is participating in volleyball, basketball, table tennis, athletics and karate, represented by Al Fatah Sporting Club. Iraq’s Beshmarka Sports Club will compete in karate, athletics and archery.

Lebanon, Morocco and Djibouti are each represented by one club in the volleyball competition; Lebanon’s Al Qamatia Volleyball Club, Djibouti’s Telcom Volleyball Club and Morocco’s Zanata Al Shallalat Volleyball Club.

In 2016, Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, issued an Emiri decree establishing SWSF as a corporate body enjoying financial independence with full capacity to carry out the necessary legation transactions to achieve its goals. Sheikha Jawaher is the chairperson of the SWSF, assisted by an advisory committee consisting of highly qualified members with vast experience in the foundation’s areas of work.

Yoga is now officially recognised as a sport in Saudi Arabia

SOURCE:Emirates Woman

Nov 16, 2017

The kingdom will soon start issuing licences for teachers, according to reports.

It’s been a year jam-packed with reforms in Saudi Arabia—and there’s now another one to add to the list.

The kingdom will officially acknowledge yoga as a sports activity, Al Arabiya reports, with licences soon to be permitted for those who want to teach the discipline.

The news was announced by Nouf Marwaai, a yoga instructor based in Jeddah who has long campaigned for the move.

Saudi’s Ministry of Commerce and Investment approved the teaching of yoga as a sports activity, she told theSaudi Gazette, which means teachers can now apply for a licence in the kingdom.

“I am happy to see sports evolving in the country,” Marwaai told the newspaper. “Yoga is a wellness sport and the approval is going to legalise yoga practice in the country which is good for better services and practice.”

The reform follows news that Saudi will start offering physical education classes at girls’ public schools next year.

saudi girls football

Classes will be introduced “gradually” and “in accordance with (Islamic) Shariah regulations”, AP reports, adding that it’s not yet known if they will form part of the curriculum.

The move comes after years of calls from activists to give women greater access to exercise, in a country where almost 50 per cent of women were found to be physically inactive in a government study.

The Ministry of Education revealed in a statement that the introduction of PE classes comes as part of Vision 2030, the kingdom’s post-oil economy plans to make Saudi a more modern, tourist-friendly destination.

The kingdom also recently announced women will soon be able to attend sports events in stadiums in three cities, with the changes set to come into place next year.

Authorities also started granting licences for women’s gyms earlier this year, if the venues focus on fitness and weight-loss activities, such as running, swimming and weightlifting.