Hasnaa Doumi became the first female to coach a men’s football team in Morocco when she was appointed to the role of head coach of the L’Ittihad Riadi Fkih Ben Salah club.
When she arrived three months ago, the club was in 13th place and threatened with relegation. She took charge and her team racked up seven wins and two draws, for a total of 23 points, “a record in the amateur league”.
“It is an honor to be the first female coach of a men’s team in Morocco. It is a source of pride for me and my parents who have always supported me and also for my city of Fkih Ben Salah, and I would send a message to the managers who manage the local teams in Morocco to trust women coached who are just as capable, you just have to give them the opportunity,” said Hasna Doumi, Ittihad Riadi Fkih Ben Salah (IRFBS) coach.
“Very young I stopped my career as a football player because I wanted to go into training, and all the coaches who saw me play told me that I was very good on the field and that I still had a good future ahead of me, especially at the age of 25, but I preferred to stop my career as a player to train to become a coach,” she added.
Doumi’s appointment marks another huge leap in women’s engagement in Moroccan football, which remains largely male-dominated.
“The only difficulty for me is how the society views me. 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,” she further expressed.
Prior to her appointment at L’Ittihad Riadi Fkih Ben Salah club, Doumi coached the Asbat Tadla women’s football team and worked as an assistant coach for the Olympique Fakih Bensalah team in the Beni Mellal Khenifra regional football league.
This year, Morocco is celebrating another major achievement for women in football as the national women’s football team qualified for its first-ever FIFA World Cup.