DEAD SEA: A duel between two women’s teams from countries as diverse as Afghanistan, France and Nepal ended 4-2 but the result was less important than the players walking away with a second world record.
The game, on a specially constructed pitch sponsored by HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein at the lowest point on earth (-320 metres) accompanied their Guinness World Record for the highest altitude match, played at 5714m in the crater at the top of Mt Kilimanjaro nine months ago.
The match was the culmination of a two-week initiative to promote gender equality in sport. The players trekked more than 90km across the country and shared their love of the beautiful game with hundreds of girls through a series of exhibition games and football camps.
At the end of the game, Prince Ali named the venue the Equal Playing Field Pitch to ensure the legacy lives on.
He said: “I thought the game was wonderful. Finally the record has been broken. For this pitch – which is in quite an underprivileged place in the country – to be a legacy for Equal Playing Field and to hand it over to the local community is a wonderful thing as well”.
Laura Youngson, co-founder of Equal Playing Field, said: “It was great to play a competitive game of football on a top-quality pitch. We were able to showcase the best of women’s football with our team of strong female athletes from around the world. It was humbling to see the size of the crowd and to inaugurate the community pitch with a world record match.”
Players included Jordan’s top goal-scorer Farah Azab, former Jordan captain Luna Sahoul, former French international Sandrine Dusang, Afghanistan captain Shabnam Mobarez as well as professional players and competitive amateurs from the United States, Spain, India, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Tanzania, Australia, the UK and many more.
EPF received support from the Asian Football Development Project, USAID, Arab Potash, Zain Jordan and Migrate for the challenge, as well as partnering with not-for-profit organisations for the football clinics.