Jul 15, 2016

    Jordan 'can shine' at U-17 Women's World Cup


    LINE'S dream is about to become a reality - the 14-year-old Jordanian girl will make history later this year when she takes part in her first-ever football world cup.

    Fifa's U-17 Women's World Cup will kick off on Sept 30 in Jordan, the first time a Middle Eastern country hosts an international women's football competition.

    Line and 20 other

    players, including devout Muslims with their heads covered by a scarf,

    have been practising hard for the tournament

    with a British coach.

    "Here in Jordan... it was frowned upon to see a girl play football.

    "But now things have changed," Line said.

    She still remembers how she defied social conventions in the conservative kingdom when, at a younger age,

    she decided to join the boys of her neighbourhood

    in a game of football.

    For decades, football was hands off for women.

    However, that changed last year when the Jordanian federation - headed by Prince Ali,

    a half-brother of

    King Abdullah II - formed the first national

    female team.

    Ali, a vice-president of Fifa who ran but failed to be elected president of football's world governing body, is credited with having helped Jordan's bid to host the under-17


    British coach Robbie Johnson is confident that the team will shine at the upcoming event.

    "This particular group are certainly keen to make a mark and certainly put the Middle East on the map," said Johnson as he put the girls through drills.

    "It can be definitely the start of something to say to women, particularly in the Middle East or in the Gulf states as well: Look, you can actually play and compete," he added.