Saudi women creates history by watching soccer match


Three Saudi Arabian stadiums - the King Abdullah Stadium, the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, and Prince Mohammed bin Fahd Stadium in Dammam - have been outfitted with special family sections for women to sit during matches.

In the stadium, keeping in mind the women spectators, a "family entrance" was created.

Local media said women would also have their own designated smoking areas.

"A lot of people wanted to wait and see how it is".

Women supporters, all wearing the traditional black abaya robe, arrived well ahead of Friday's kick-off in the Jeddah stadium, some in sunglasses and others with loose-fitting veils. And for 22-year-old Al Hilal fan Ghadah Grrah, she can not contain her excitement as she is finally able to go and watch them play.

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Powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is believed to have championed lifting the ban as he is seeking to open up the country and revamp its global image.

Still in place, however, are guardianship laws that prevent women from travelling overseas, obtaining a passport or marrying without a male relative's consent.

The first football match women are being allowed to attend is a clash between Saudi Premier League clubs Al-Ahli and Al-Batin in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

In September, Saudi King Salman bin Abdelaziz announced that women would be allowed to drive starting from June, a move that ended a long ban.

Over the years, though, there have been some exceptions for foreign women.

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