Saudi Arabia woman wins first online FIFA Championship

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A Saudi Arabian woman has won the first online FIFA Championship after defeating her Brazilian rival 8-0 in the final yesterday, the Saudi Gazette reported.

Najd Fahd, who was hailed as “Saudi Arabia’s daughter” by the Gazette, beat Cristina Batista Pereira in the final match of the PlayStation tournament.

Saudi Najd Fahd is the first winner for the online FIFA Championship, 17 July 2020 [Twitter]

Saudi Najd Fahd is the first winner for the online FIFA Championship, 17 July 2020 [Twitter]

In total, 12 women took part in the tournament, which started on 6 July, playing off in two groups of six before a knockout stage to determine the overall winner. Fahd, who was placed in Group B, immediately made waves by defeating the Australian competitor, Jessica, 5-1 during the group stage matches.

At the time of Fahd’s win, Dr Khalid Al-Muzaini, the president of Saudi Universities Sports Federation, praised the victory adding, “representing the Kingdom in these international events is remarkable”.

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The Saudi Arabian student, who studies at Riyadh’s Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, was entered in the competition as the female representative for Saudi Arabian universities.

Abdul Aziz Al Wahhabi was entered as the male representative. Al Wahhabi competed against 32 male students, who were divided into pools of four players, from across the world.

READ: Saudi Arabia looking to get rights to German football league

The online tournament, which was organised by the International Federation of University Sports, was the first of its kind.

It was praised by the Gazette for “encouraging sport and competitiveness” despite travel and movement restrictions which are in place as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic.

The win comes only days after an attempt by a Saudi-led consortium to takeover English Premier League club Newcastle United was thrust into doubt after the Qatari channel, beIN, was barred from operating in the Kingdom.

The Qatar-based Middle East Premier League broadcast partner had its licence in the kingdom cancelled and received a fine. The ban means there is now no legal way for Saudi Arabians to watch English football in the country.

The Qatari football channel responded to the ban by raising concerns the licence was revoked over “false legal measures” and claimed the Saudi authorities had “repeatedly violated their rights in due process”.

The potential Saudi takeover of the Premier League has been widely scrutinised in the British parliament and it is unclear if it will go ahead.

READ: Saudi takeover of Newcastle United hinges on lifting blockade on Qatar

Middle East Monitor

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