Sunday, 21 January, 2018

Saudi women to enter stadiums for first time to watch soccer

In a first, women in Saudi Arabia attend a soccer match Saudi women attend sports event for first time
Melinda Barton | 13 January, 2018, 08:25

Some 10,000 seats have been allocated for women and families in King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah for the domestic league match between al-Ahly and al-Baten - one of three games that Saudi authorities said women would be allowed to attend this month.

For the first time, women in Saudi Arabia entered a sports stadium to watch a soccer match between two local teams in Jeddah.

The General Sports Authority announced in October that stadiums in Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh will be set up to accommodate families starting in 2018. "But thank god that it came in the right time, and hopefully what's to come will be even more handsome for women".

In a historic decision late a year ago, King Salman gave Saudi women the right to drive, abolishing an nearly three-decade ban based on religious reasons.

In a first, women in Saudi Arabia attend a soccer match

The company plans to open more automobiles showrooms for women in the oil-rich kingdom.

According to the BBC, some in the conservative kingdom criticised the decision to allow women to attend football matches - but that did not deter female fans, who queued to go through "women-only" gates.

Women could attend the match after strict gender segregation was eased by authority in October past year.

"We aim god willing to raise it to 40 percent by 2030, through several events, and today's is one of these events".