Hidaa Ahmed Ghaddar is a footballer who has suffered multiple anterior cruciate ligament knee injuries and believes that not enough is done to prevent these injuries in the women’s game. “If they are going to give us the work load same as the men’s then we should have the same facilities, pay and Medicare.”
Born in Lebanon, Hidaa Ghaddar grew up in Kano, northern Nigeria with her brothers and her parents. Why football? “Being an introvert, it was playing football that gave me the avenue to express myself and I was very happy to do this with my brothers on the streets of Kano.”
Kano is a very Islamic part of Nigeria, so how did the young lady manage this? “Well, I really only played with my brothers as I was not allowed to go anywhere else but my interest had spiked. I just wanted to play football and be a footballer.”
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To help their daughter achieve her dreams they allowed her to go the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja for try-outs “I went to Abuja and had a few weeks with an Academy in Abuja but my parents were not very comfortable with the place because they felt the area where the club was based was dangerous.”
From Abuja, Ahmed hopped on the plane to go to Lagos for another try-out with one of the most famous teams in the former capital, FC Robo. “I stayed at Robo for a little over 3 months” Ahmed says.
It was a very brave move to go down to the south-west for her because she now lived alone for the first time.
“Football has given me a lot of great highlights” Ghaddar says. “I have been able to travel the world and represent Lebanon and I enjoyed those journeys and would never change them for anything.”
Currently, she is a student at Regents University of London, previously she had attended American University of science and technology and Antonine University both in Lebanon.
Hijab wearing football player? “London is the most supportive of how I dress. Portugal was were I experienced a bit of racism when we were there for the Women University World Cup”
Hidaa Ahmed Ghaddar represented Lebanon at the Arab Universal Championship in Jordan, World University Games, Barcelona Spain and the Women’s University World Cup in Portugal.
Full interview is in the Podcast above