“An Orient Tour” – Neuchâtel Xamax in Bahrain & Saudi Arabia

First off – the title. Not my words, the words of Swiss newspaper L’Express on February 11th, 1976. I imagine this is as outdated in Swiss French as they are in English.

Photo from BNA Zaman
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Groundhopping in Bahrain #5 – Al Najma Stadium (Bahrain/Saudi Women’s Tournament)

Last year, as part of its ongoing reforms, Saudi Arabia launched its women’s football league, something that wasn’t only a surprise to a westerner like myself, but to many locals. It’s been clear for a while that change was coming to the KSA, but the sheer pace of it has taken many folks by surprise. I left a teaching job in Saudi just five years ago in 2016, but just five years later the country is unrecognisable in some respects, with women now able to drive, travel freely and – pertinent to today’s blog – play sports competitively.

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