Salma Assy plays with the boys in the B16 class
She competes with boys for her place on the Team Alliance B16 team.
Like many other girls Salma Assy play in the Gothia Cup tournament. With one difference. She plays in a Boys 16 team.
– I love football. It's my passion and it means a lot to me to be here, especially with the boys, she says.
Salma Assy plays for the Alliance FC Boys 16 team. She plays as a fullback and competes on the same terms as the other players on the team. The fact is she was picked ahead of boys who consequently did not make the team or the trip to Gothia Cup.
– If you're good enough, you're good enough. To us it doesn't matter if you're a boy or a girl. If you can play, we will coach and train you. We have more players that had to stay at home so it's not like she doesn't have competition. She deserves to be here and I want Gothia Cup to notice that we are not afraid to put a girl in our boys team, says head coach Mehran Rowshan.
For Salma Assy football is a way to deal with life, even if her life mainly revolves around football. She also hopes that her experience playing in Gothia Cup will benefit her when she returns to her country United Arab Emirates.
– I hope it builds confidence for me. I think it is more of a challenge to play with the boys. I hope I learn a lot that I can apply when I return back home, she says.
She enjoys Gothia Cup. While participating she hopes to learn from playing new types of players, teams and play styles.
– It's different from playing teams from Dubai and UAE. These teams in Gothia Cup play different styles of football, which I find very interesting!
Coach Rowshan sees many positive sides to her playing with the boys team. Both as a football player but also when it comes to her personal development.
– She learns to handle a tough environment. This will help her regardless of what she decides to do later in her life. There is also a point for the boys to see that girls are as good as boys.