In a first, Saudi princess leads Italian football club


Italian football has a princess. A Saudi princess who is now leading a football club. Princess Noora bin Saad Al Saud is now the president of Spoleto Calcio, a club located in Spoleto, Umbria, Italy’s Green Heart. The club plays in Serie D, he top level of the Italian non-professional football association. However, Noora, the first Saudi woman to lead a men’s sports club, has promptly stated her ambition to help Spoleto Calcio move up to the next category. “Spoleto Calcio is a small amateur football organization where it is possible to work with the objective of growing and aspiring to move up to the next category,” she told reporters.

“Football is a family passion and that is why I chose this sport. The choice of Spoleto is due to the beauty of the city, known throughout the world, and to the desire to do something important even in football,” she was quoted as saying. Her presidency is seen as an opportunity for Italian football to stretch limits and frontiers. It comes after the Italians opened club ownership to Americans and Chinese. Princess Noora is also stretching the limits of the participation of Saudi women in sports.


Women were able to watch football in a stadium in the Kingdom for the first time in January 2018. The decision was part of an ambitious reform to overhaul society and empower women politically, economically and socially. Women have since formed football clubs and taken in international games, be it on a limited scale.

Women have also taken part in several local and regional sporting events, including cycling and basketball. Football relations between Saudi Arabia and Italy got a boost this year when the 2018 Supercoppa Italiana (Italian Super Cup) final between Champions Juventus and Cup runners-up Milan took place in January in the Red Sea resort of Jeddah. Juventus won the cup, edging Milano 1-0, in the presence of 62,000 spectators.

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