Saudi Arabia to bid for 2026 AFC Women’s Asian Cup
Building on many recent developments to grow women's football in Saudi Arabia, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has officially announced its intention to bid for the 2026 AFC Women's Asian Cup.
Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF) Women's Football Department was established in 2019 with the Kingdom's first women's Regional League launched in November 2021, followed by a National Championship in January 2022.
The Women's National Football Team was established in 2021 and played its first official international friendly match in February 2022 in a tournament in the Maldives.
40 D License Coaching Courses have been delivered in schools around the Kingdom, awarding 857 teachers coaching certificates. In addition to 15 Referee Courses, 544 teachers were qualified as referees, all in preparation to launch The Girls Schools League in September 2022.
There are 100+ C Licensed Coaches in the Kingdom with the first AFC B License Coaching Course having concluded in February 2022.
The first female Saudi referee will participate in the 4th AFC Referees Academy course.
Growing the grassroots of women's football will be central to the bid. Inspiring women's football across Asia will be built into a Saudi-hosted 2026 competition. From players to coaches and fans to officials, Saudi Arabia is committed to developing and growing women's football to take the game to the next level.
Lamia bin Bahian, Board Member of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation notes "we have huge ambitions for the development of the women's game in Saudi Arabia, and the recent progress has been incredible. We really are entering a new and exciting era for women's football."
Monika Staab, manager of the Saudi Arabian women's national team advised "Saudi Arabia has embraced women's football. When I speak to girls across the Kingdom, I see their excitement for the game. The 2026 AFC Women's Asian Cup is an unprecedented opportunity to inspire a generation of girls to achieve their football dreams."
Yasser Almisehal, President of SAFF added "the future of women's football in Saudi Arabia is bright, and we are committed to growing the game here and throughout Asia. More and more young girls are playing football in this country, and we want to inspire them further. Hosting the AFC Women's Asian Cup 2026 would be a great occasion for our players and would be made memorable by the passion of our fans."
Image: Philippines - winners at 2022 AFF Women's Championship. Credit AFC
27th March 2022 - Saudi Arabia F1 Grand Prix to proceed despite attack on nearby oil depot
6th January 2022 - Saudi Arabia B_fit smart club selects Fitbench to deliver premium experience
6th December 2021 - Formula One makes dramatic Saudi Arabian debut
6th September 2021 - Wibit installs world’s largest inflatable aquatic play park in Saudi Arabia
31st May 2021 - Saudi Arabia secures World Combat Games 2023
29th November 2020 - Technogym secures agreement to supply equipment for 138 clubs and 70 new openings in Saudi Arabia
23rd April 2020 - Qatar and Saudi Arabia enter rival bids to host 2030 Asian Games
27th September 2019 - Saudi Arabia looks to open up to non-Muslim international tourists
25th February 2020 - Chinese women’s football team looks to play ‘home’ leg of Olympic qualifying play off in Sydney
19th July 2022 - Australia, Indonesia, South Korea and Qatar express interest in hosting 2023 AFC Asian Cup
16th May 2022 - Covid-hit China relinquishes hosting rights for 2023 AFC Asian Cup
11th April 2020 - India bids to host 2027 Asian Cup
6th June 2019 - China named 2023 AFC Asian Cup hosts
20th May 2019 - China set to host 2023 AFC Asian Cup after South Korea withdrawl
15th August 2016 - Asian Cup 2015 Legacy Fund injects $4 million into NSW Football
6th January 2016 - South Korea looks to host 2023 AFC Asian Cup