(5) Female candidates, including journalists, in the elections for the Sudanese Mars Club

Sudan Tribune – Private

The candidates for the board of directors of the Sudanese club Al-Merreikh aspire to establish a women’s football academy for the competition of the women’s team at the global level and express the desire for a more comprehensive participation of women in the upcoming elections, criticizing the formal participation of women.

In the elections for the board of directors of the Mars club, which began on Friday, December 30, five candidates are competing among 54 candidates competing for 9 seats. Among the five candidates are four well-known media workers and one student, who are competing for victory. one seat reserved for women.

Observers assessed the turnout of women in the elections as a good step on the path of women’s football, which proves the increase in women’s awareness of the importance of their involvement in football activities, while others minimized the step and described it as a formality, which was only made in accordance with the decision of the International Federation of Football Associations “FIFA” on the representation of women in federations and clubs.

On Friday, in an atmosphere full of enthusiasm and tension, they took the first steps for Mars board elections, but the lack of a quorum at the General Assembly necessitated the extension of the process until today, Saturday, December 31.

In 2017, Sudan added some amendments to the Football Association’s statutes to allow women to run for a board seat.

Mervat Hussein, a media presenter and sports presenter, won the title of the first woman to hold a seat on the board of directors of the Sudanese Football Association.

Sudan later made another amendment by awarding seats to women in Sudanese clubs and establishing a league for women’s teams.

In April 2020, the Sudanese Football Federation organized a Women’s League in which 20 teams participated, the oldest of which was the Al-Madfaji team, which is legally registered with the federation.

appointed to the presidency

Each of the five candidates, Badriya Abdel Hafeez, Tahani Hamed Al-Sadiq, Afaf Al-Amin, Salma Sayed and Atefeh Adel, presented their election program and agreed that the participation of women is still a formality and that they await female competition for the presidential seats.

They also agreed to make Al-Merreikh club an inclusive ship to solve peace issues and renounce tribalism as it includes different spectrums, besides attracting girls to support Al-Merikh team, encouraging Al-Merikh women’s team and establishing a football academy to ensure global competition.

The second edition of the Sudan Women’s Football League 2020 witnessed the first appearance of the women’s club Al-Marrekh, who were the second club in the Premier League to have a women’s team after Hilal Al-Abyad.

The formation of a girls’ football team for the first time in Sudan caused wide reactions and was qualified as a deviation from the norm and a violation of customs and traditions. Women at that time were not allowed to play football, considering that wearing a sports uniform by women was not in accordance with the Islamic faith. .

figurative representation

Afaf Al-Amin

Media candidate Afaf Al-Amin told the Sudan Tribune that she is proud enough to be among the candidates for the women’s seat on Mars as it is a real addition to her football record.

And he confirms his preparation of a strong program that works to present the Al-Merreikh club as a big ship that includes multiple activities beyond sports and to support the establishment of peace in Sudan and the renunciation of tribalism and fighting, stressing that Al-Merreikh has great potential for instilling the values ​​of peace because it is a comprehensive vessel that includes different spectrums of Sudanese and has leaders who can contribute to mending the social fabric.

Al-Amin admitted that the representation of women is still formal and formal and comes only to implement FIFA’s decisions on the inclusion of women in the ranks of clubs, but the role of women has not been activated, expressing her ambition for women to run for other places in the competition with men, wondering what prevents women from being vice presidents.

Al-Amin emphasized the importance of developing the women’s team and activating its role in the coming days, praising the registration of a new group of professional players who will be reinforced in the coming days.

Afaf Al-Amin pointed out that her independent candidacy could reduce her chances of winning compared to other candidates on the lists.

Feminist Academy

For her part, journalist Salma Sayed, in a recording of TV Net in her pre-election program, bet on the formation of a women’s football academy capable of embracing the women of Sudan and the women of Mars, sponsoring players from an early age so that they can compete globally.

She drew attention to the importance of implementing investment projects that support Mars teams, pointing out that money is the backbone of success, along with good management, elevating teams to a global level, and creating a good environment for player qualifications and inviting them to compete.

She also emphasized the necessity of concluding internal and external contracts and partnerships, along with the opening of a satellite channel for Mars, which can bring significant changes.

Salma’s program includes a social aspect that includes determined women and an attempt to help and open all the doors that were closed in front of them and prevented them from realizing their aspirations.

Female candidates are going through the second electoral experience of this kind, since the participation of women in the Mars Club was limited to the management committees. Tabitha Boutros, Al-Wazir, participated in the government of deposed President Omar Al-Bashir in the first Board of Directors, and Tahani Al-Sadiq participated in the second Board of Directors of the Mars Club.

A third media candidate, Badriya Abdel Hafeez, told the Sudan Tribune that she is trying to activate the role of women in Al-Marrekh club, which goes beyond the usual by establishing academies that accept talented female players and take care of them fully, in addition to attracting a psychological coach who takes into account the emotional formation of women.

She also emphasized the importance of knowing the football laws and attracting women who are fully familiar with the football rules so that they can be added to the team.

“We strive for greater participation of women in the upcoming elections and competition in larger tasks, not only for women’s positions,” she said.

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