Destined to Play! New FIFA+ documentary lifts the lid on the incredible rise of women’s football in Saudi Arabia as key figures urge the next generation to create a ‘legacy’

Destined To Play Saudi Women's FootballGOAL

It was back in 2019 when the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) introduced a dedicated Women's Football Department to professionalise the women's game and offer a platform for women and girls to pursue their dreams.

After establishing the department, SAFF introduced its inaugural women's competition named the Women’s Community Football League, which was the first national league to be played on full-sized pitches and quickly became a sensation. Since its inception, women's football in the region has seen significant growth, with the second season of the Saudi Women’s Premier League set to commence on the 13th of October 2023.

The rise of Saudi women’s football has been as impressive as it’s been rapid. Less than two years after that first competition was held, the country’s newly-created national team were making history by playing their first-ever fixture.

Al Bandary Mubarak scored Saudi Arabia women’s first international goal in a 2-0 victory over the Seychelles in February 2022, and they haven’t looked back since. In fact, a spot at a future Women’s World Cup is their ultimate goal.

In conjunction with FIFA and the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF), Footballco were given an access-all-areas pass to tell the fascinating story of the women’s national team and how they are looking to inspire the country’s next generation of female footballers.

Featuring interviews with a host of key players, SAFF Women’s Department Technical director Monika Staab and Lamia Bahaian, the female Vice President of SAFF, among others, the new documentary lifts the lid on the journey to build an international women’s team from almost nothing.

With behind-the-scenes footage from matches and the players’ personal lives, the eye-opening film explores just what the national team means to those involved, and to the women of Saudi Arabia as a whole.

Destined to Play. The Untold Story of Saudi Women’s Football is available to watch now on FIFA+