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And what about us? For the first time: a Palestinian referee in the World Cup Israel today


Let Saadia make history, when she referees in the Women's World Cup that will take place this summer in Australia and New Zealand • Firas Abu Hilal, Secretary General of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA): "She proved the ability of Palestinian women to excel in any field"

make history

Haba Saadia is expected to become the first Palestinian international soccer referee to officiate at the FIFA Women's World Cup, which will be held this time in Australia and New Zealand, and will also be one of the first Arabs to achieve this feat. 

Saadia was previously selected as part of the officiating team for the 2022 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup in Vietnam, and officiated the Women's Asian Cup matches in India last year.

She began refereeing in the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp, where she was born to Palestinian parents and continued to specialize in sports when she studied in Damascus at university, in physical education. 

"I watched a group of referees training and noticed that there were no women among them," Saadia said last year in an interview with the Palestinian Sports and Youth channel.

"When I asked them about it, they suggested I join them, so that's what I did." 

Saadia worked with the Syrian Football Association as a fourth official initially, but was forced to move to Malaysia in 2012 when the country's civil war broke out.

After working with the Football Association of Malaysia, she moved again to start working with the Swedish Football Association, where she received her international referee badge in 2016. 

Firas Abu Hilal, Secretary General of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA), said that she is the first Palestinian referee in the World Cup. "She is also one of the first Arab referees to participate in an official tournament at this level, and she proved the ability of Palestinian women to excel in any field," said Hilal. 

"She managed to gain a lot of experience in the field of physical fitness and refereeing football matches, in coordination with the PFA. She is a role model for Palestinian women who aspire to achieve success and greatness." 

Saadia is scheduled to work at the 2023 Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, scheduled to take place from July 20 to August 20. 

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Source: israelhayom

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