The United Arab Emirates Football Association has launched a four-year Live Your Goals project in collaboration with FIFA at the association’s offices.
There was a lively atmosphere as 80 girls aged under-14 from a range of private schools across UAE took part in the Live Your Goals Festival under the supervision of their coaches. Additionally amongst those in attendance were FIFA representative Honey Thaljieh, Dr. Balhasan Malouch, director of the technical department of the UAEFA, and Samir Al Andalusi, head coach of the senior UAE women's national team, as well as many others.
The project aims to increase the numbers of girls who are practicing football and encourage them to establish a positive relationship with the beautiful game. FIFA is looking forward to this project helping to promote the women's game in UAE and allow more girls to step in and take part. The campaign also looks to shed light on the various benefits that can be generated from playing football, from forming new friendships and togetherness, to remaining fit and increase participants' ability to tackle challenging situations.
Noura Al Mazrouei, goalkeeper for the women's national team and an ambassador of Live Your Goals, said: "I am excited to be part of the football community and see many little girls taking part in this beautiful game. This project aims to get as many girls as possible to play for the different national teams in the future."
Fellow UAE national team member Areej Al Hammadi also pointed to the fact that the festival represented a good opportunity for girls to test their abilities, while giving them opportunities to dream and excel.
Meanwhile, Thaljieh addressed the audience during a press conference, held to announce the launching of the project, saying that FIFA is working hard to support the UAE's efforts to promote the game and achieve the objectives of the project to break barriers for Arab women. “Football is a game for all,” she said.
Amal Bu Shallak, FA board member said: “The time has come to see UAE stars of the future, thanks to our strong base of women's football which currently has more than 2000 girls practicing the game. The project is a great push to achieve one of our most important goals by training new local staff, increasing their efficiency to grow the game in the country and keep pace with international trends.”