Women's association football (women's soccer) is the most prominent team sport played by women around the globe. It is played at the professional level in numerous countries throughout the world and 176 national teams participate internationally.
The history of women's football has seen major competitions being launched at both the national and international levels. Women's football has faced many struggles throughout its history. Although its first golden age occurred in the United Kingdom in the early 1920s, when one match achieved over 50,000 spectators, the Football Association initiated a ban in 1921 that disallowed women's football games from the grounds used by its member clubs. The ban stayed in effect until July 1971. The same year, UEFA recommended that the women's game should be taken under the control of the national associations in each country.
At the beginning of the 21st century, women's football, like men's football, has become professionalised and is growing in both popularity and participation. From the first known professional team in 1984, to the hundreds of thousands of tickets sold for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, support of women's professional football (soccer) has increased around the globe. However, as in other sports, women have struggled for pay and opportunities equal to male football players. Major league and international women's football enjoys far less television and media coverage than the men's equivalent. In spite of this, the popularity and participation in women's football continues to grow.
The Saudi Arabia women's national football team would be the national team representing the kingdom in international football. However, the team does not yet exist because of influence of religious leaders in Saudi Arabia and systematic discrimination against women's sport, active opposition of political leaders and sport administrators. International pressure has come to bear on the country to field a women's team, and FIFA now allows the hijab to be worn in competition. A meeting at the College of Business Administration in Jeddah was seen as a possible first step in a team eventually being created.
Despite a lack of official support for a national team and women's football in general, women have self-organised their own teams and play games out of the sight of men. Created in 2006, King's United women football club was the first women's football club in the country. No official data is kept regarding participation rates for women football players.