In a first, Saudi women make their way to a football stadium
New measure comes after Riyadh announced it was lifting a ban prohibiting them from driving
A Saudi woman tours a car showroom for women in Jeddah, on Friday. Pic/AFP
Saudi Arabia will allow women to enter a football stadium for the first time to watch a match on Saturday, as the ultra-conservative kingdom eases strict decades-old rules separating the sexes. The new measure comes after Riyadh, long known for imposing harsh restrictions on women, announced it was lifting a ban prohibiting them from driving as well as reopening cinemas.
The Islamic kingdom has announced a series of reforms initiated by powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman since last year. The first football match that women will be allowed to attend is a clash on Friday between Saudi Premier League clubs Al-Ahli and Al-Batin in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. The game is scheduled to kick off at 8 pm (1700 GMT), but enthusiasm for the historic encounter has begun well before the referee’s whistle is blown.