An all-women flag football league is catching on in the Middle East. Football is an unmistakably American sport, but in recent years, European and Middle Eastern countries have started to become interested in it.
This particular Egyptian league started in 2016 with only 3 teams — now, it’s up to 8 teams and growing. The players also have a ton of fans that cheer them on. And while some might prefer to play tackle, most of the women enjoy the non-contact nature of the game.
“There is not tackling or violence like the football played abroad,” one of the flag football players named Yara Tawheed explained. “My friends thought it was strange, but when they came to watch me they were happy. [They thought] it was entertaining, rather than just tackling. It has a purpose more than being violent. There is no violence anyway. There amount of violence in it is as much as that in ballet.”
The teams practice drills and play both local and international matches. Although soccer is the clear #1 sport in Egypt, American Football is slowly on the rise.
In 2014, Egypt became a member of the International Federation of American Football, with the goal of expanding the sport within its borders.