Former Egypt international Faiza Heidar has become the first woman in the country to coach a male football team, after signing a deal with Gaza based club Goldi.
The former Egypt women national team captain signed a deal with fourth division side Ideal Goldi which is based in Gaza.
Speaking about her journey as a female sportsperson, Heider said, “There is usually some mockery at the beginning, she told Reuters, but then they realised that they will learn something, that they will develop their skills,” added the 36-year-old.
Heider played as a midfielder in the Egyptian Female Football National Team and was also the team’s captain, revealing she was inspired to take up football since her childhood days when she used to practice in the streets with boys.
She further revealed that she was the first Egyptian coach across genders to secure the Premier Skills Coach Educator status, certified by England’s Premier League. “The turning point for me was the Premier Skills program,” Heidar said during a TEDx talk, adding, “Its core intention is to help coaches develop their community through sports, improve their employment chances, and it has children and social integration at the heart of it all.”
Talking about her initial reservations against her daughter’s love for the sport, Heidar’s mother, Khodra Abdelrahman said, “I would tell her not to go. She would say: ‘No, I will go.’ She loved the sport. I let her go and prayed that God help her. And she did go, and she has done so well.
Soccer remains an overwhelmingly male sport in Egypt.