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Saudi allows women to watch men's football in stadiums

Mukul : risingbd.com
Publish on: 2018-01-13 10:47:17 AM     ||     Updated: 2018-01-13 2:03:58 PM

International Desk: Saudi Arabia has for the first time allowed women to spectate at a football match, part of an easing of strict rules on gender separation by the ultra-conservative Muslim country.

Women fans filed into a stadium in the city of Jeddah on Friday, through family gates into family seating.

But even segregated as they were, their presence in the stadium marked a significant moment for the Kingdom.

It follows a series of reforms intended to modernise the country.

As the two teams al-Ahli and al-Batin faced each other in the city of Jeddah, women showed up to their first public sporting event in the Kingdom to support the sides with their spouses, children and friends.

The General Sports Authority announced in October that stadiums in Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh will be set up to accommodate families starting in 2018.

The decision to allow women to attend a mixed public sporting event is one of many changes the country has undergone in recent months, hailed as proof of a new progressive trend in the deeply conservative Muslim Kingdom.

On Thursday, Jeddah held Saudi Arabia's first car exhibition aimed at women, a few months after Saudi Arabia announced it would grant them the right to drive.

A football match on Saturday in the capital Riyadh will also be welcoming women fans.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 32, has been hailed as the face of these changes.

Source: Agencies

risingbd/Jan 13, 2018/Mukul