At the age of 27, Salma al-Majidi has broken a lot of barriers as she has now been acknowledged by FIFA as the first Sudanese and Arab woman to coach a men’s football team in the Arab world.
A drastic change of mentality
In 2012, Sudan’s religious authority, the Islamic Fiqh Council, banned the formation of a national women’s football team in the country, describing it as an immoral act. While many Sudanese women abandoned their dreams of becoming professional footballers, Salma al-Majidi persevered. She surpassed all this to become a football coach for men.
Dreams became a reality
Salma al-Majidi began having dreams of pursuing a footballing career at the age of 16, while watching her younger brother’s school team being coached. She was captivated by the coach’s instructions, his moves, and how he placed the marker cones at practice sessions. She asked him if she could work with him, and he agreed. Together they would discuss techniques he used to coach the boys. From there, she started coaching under-13 and under-16 teams.
Named in the BBC’s 2015 list of “100 inspirational women”, Majidi has already coached four Sudanese men’s clubs: Al-Nasr, Al-Nahda, Nile Halfa and Al-Mourada.
Salma al-Majidi is the holder of the CAF “B” badge, which allows her to coach any first league team across the continent. She hopes to coach an international team in the years to come.