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Get to Know Hasnaa Doumi, The Moroccan Woman Coaching an All-Men Football Team

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Meet Hasnaa Doumi, a 29-year-old Moroccan who created history by becoming the first female to lead a men’s football team, L’Ittihad Riadi Fkih Ben Salah Club.

Even though many people informed her she had excellent chances ahead of her, Doumi, a former football player who played for the Atlas Lioness, quit her career at age 25. She wanted to leave the football field and pursue a career as a coach.

According to Africa News, the L’Ittihad Riadi Fkih Ben Salah Club has been revived under Doumi’s leadership and has achieved seven wins and two draws for a total of 23 points, a record in the amateur league. The team was in 13th place and kept sinking when she joined it three months ago.

Doumi’s appointment is a turning point for women’s participation in football and a fantastic accomplishment for women who hope to one day succeed in a field that is mostly controlled by men.

Although this strong woman is visibly changing her team’s narrative and is helping them soar, she still says she feels society’s criticism of her gender and her position. “The only difficulty for me now is how society views me,” she said, noting that no one says it to her face, but she sees the backlash mostly on social networks.

She further explained that “Football is for men, they say, I had only the support of my relatives and my family because they know my experience in football and for me, I do not pay attention to criticism from society. I have the support of my parents and that has helped me in my career.”

Morocco’s national women’s football team has qualified for its first-ever FIFA World Cup, and the country is still celebrating this win for female sport.

Given that she is the first of her kind, Doumi said that being admitted to the men’s club is an honor. She proclaimed that she would take advantage of the chance provided to her to convince the local team managers that women are equally competent of coaching and should be given more opportunities.

Doumi’s teaching abilities had brought her to the Asbat Tadla women’s football team prior to her current role as the men’s team coach. According to Morocco World News, she also served as an assistant coach for the Olympique Fakih Bansalah side in the Beni Mellal Khenifra regional football division.

Abdelhadi Bennane, the club’s captain, claimed that Doumi arrived at a crucial time. He claimed that while initially finding the female coach’s selection odd, the team collaborated closely with her to overcome its challenges.

The 28-year-old added that “She has a strong personality. She listens and finally the fact that she is a woman has changed a lot of looks. Whether she is a woman or a man does not make a big difference,” according to dayFREURO.

Advising young women who aspire to be footballers, Doumi said, “I have noticed an increasing number of women who want to get involved in football. If you have a goal in mind, you have to fight for it. Reach with desire and determination, you will get there.”

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