1st Hijabi, Palestinian referee at Women’s World Cup

In a groundbreaking achievement for Palestinian women in sports, Heba Saadieh has made history by becoming the first Palestinian referee to officiate at the prestigious FIFA World Cup.

Her remarkable journey and unwavering dedication to football have shattered gender barriers, inspiring countless young girls across the region to dream big and strive for success in the face of adversity.

Heba Saadieh, the referee, wore the hijab during her appearance in the match between the England and China national teams in the 2023 Women’s World Cup, becoming the first Palestinian woman to do so in history.

Born and raised in Palestine, Heba Saadieh’s passion for football ignited at an early age. As a young girl, she was captivated by the beautiful game and dreamt of actively contributing to it, despite the male-dominated nature of the sport in her country.

With unparalleled determination, Saadieh set her sights on becoming a referee, viewing this role as her gateway to the world of football.

Heba Saadieh’s historic accomplishment has far-reaching implications beyond the world of football. As the first Palestinian woman to officiate at a World Cup, she has become a role model for young girls in Palestine and around the world.

Her journey exemplifies the power of determination, resilience, and breaking societal norms to pave the way for future generations of women in sports.

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