Leisure and play activities fulfill an important role in modern society. Through these events, people are able to relax and obtain some level of enjoyment. In addition to this, the activities enable the participating members and observers of the games to socialize with each other. Soccer (referred to as football by the Saudis) is the most popular sport in Saudi Arabia.
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This paper will describe this game and explain its history in Saudi Arabia. The paper will discuss the Soccer Al Nasser Saudi Club in order to show who participates in the sport and who observes it. The elements within the game that contravene prevailing attitudes among Saudis and those that reaffirm them will be discussed.
Football, a sporting activity commonly referred to as soccer in North America, involves players from two opposing teams who attempt to control a ball and score against each other. Each team has eleven players working harmoniously to score goals and avoid conceding any. The players hit the ball across the field to pass it over the opposition’s goal line. The team that has acquired the greater number of goals by the end of the allocated playtime is declared the victor.
Soccer has been a part of Saudi culture since the formation of this nation in 1932. The sport was introduced to the Kingdom following the relations between the Europeans and the Saudis in the 20th century. After Saudi became a nation, soccer went on to become the national sport and it has remained popular to date.
Saudi Arabia has been a part of the international football scene for decades. The nation founded its football federation in 1956 and over the following years, many football clubs have been established in the country. One of the most popular clubs is the Soccer Al Nasser Saudi Club, which was formed as an amateur association but grew to become a professional club in 1960. This Club has won many trophies including the Saudi Primer League and the prestigious Asian Champions League.
The participants in Saudi football are male amateur and professional footballers. Amateur teams engage in competitive games as well as non-competitive ones mostly at the local level. Professional footballers are often involved in competitive events. The Soccer Al Nasser Saudi Club is very active in Saudi professional football and it has won many titles.
Only men play in the team and the team’s coaches and managers are male. The club has many supporters in Riyadh and the rest of the country. A vast majority of these supporters are men of different ages. The supporters attend major matches and they engage in loud cheering for their team.
In some ways, football in Saudi Arabia contravenes prevailing attitudes in the country. For example, Saudis are very respectful and friendly to strangers. This friendliness is not obvious when playing football as each team has to view the opponents as rivals. The football fans engage in loud cheering for their team while they jeer at the opposing team.
This public display of resentment for other people is not a part of Saudi culture and it only takes place in the context of the football match. When not engaging in the sport, Saudis are very friendly people who treat friends and strangers with great respect and consideration.
There are some instances where Saudi football reaffirms patterns within the culture at times of non-play. To begin with, the sport reaffirms the segregation between men and women in Saudi society. Women do not mix with men in the public and this is evident in soccer. Men carry out the games and the observing fans are mostly men. In addition to this, there are no clubs for women in Saudi Arabia due to the societal roles of men and women in the country.
Some aspects of the self-perception of Saudis can be deduced from their participation in football. Saudis value relationships between people in the society and efforts are made to make connections. Football is used as a forum for getting to know other people in the community.
During the sporting event, the spectators engage in dialogue with each other and form friendships. The aspirations of the Saudi people to be winners can also be seen from the game. Professional and amateur footballers dedicate a lot of time and effort preparing for each game. After a victory, the team members and their fans celebrate the victory.
Football is a sporting activity that fulfills an important role in Saudi society. This paper has described the game and shown its history in Saudi Arabia. One of the major football teams in the country, the Soccer Al Nasser Saudi Club has been described. Its participants and observers have been identified as being men.
Football contravenes the prevailing attitudes of Saudi friendliness and hospitability. It affirms the segregation between men and women in society. From reviewing this sport in Saudi Arabia, it is clear that the Saudis value community life and these people view themselves as victors.