Women’s football in Saudi Arabia: development worker in sports shoes

Monika Staab was once Germany’s most successful soccer coach. Then she set off to almost 90 countries as a development worker in sports shoes. What is probably her last mission now takes her to the enemy country of feminism: Saudi Arabia.

And then one windy September evening, on the tartan track of this slightly dilapidated football stadium in the hinterland of Saudi Arabia, the word suddenly comes out: wimp. It’s not easy for the women in their green national jerseys, but it almost always makes them laugh. How lovely that sounds. And how menacing it can still be when the trainer’s command rumbles across the pitch: “You’re a wimp!” they imitate and giggle. What an expression!

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