Saudi women to enter stadiums for first time to watch soccer

Fans watch a match at the King Abdullah Sports City stadium in Jeddah

Though, the women were set aside in the stands from the male-only crowd with nominated seating in the supposed family section at King Abdullah Sports City stadium, as per reports of ABC News.

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.

For the first time in history, Saudi Arabia allowed women to spectate a local football match, which took place in the city of Jeddah.

"Honestly this decision should have happened a long time ago", said Muneera al-Ghamdi, an attendee.

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The kingdom has also announced that starting in June women will be allowed to drive, lifting the world's only ban on female drivers.

The move is part of an easing of restrictions on women initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the conservative Muslim country. He made that clear last September by allowing women to attend a Riyadh-based stadium last September to celebrate the country's national day.

"Today the percentage of those who participate in exercise and sports is only 13 percent", said Hayfaa al-Sabban, who heads a sport organisation.


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