Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Saudi women at soccer matches make global headlines

Saudi women at soccer matches make global headlines

Saudi Arabia allowed women to enter a football stadium for the first time to watch a match Friday, as the ultra-conservative kingdom eases strict decades-old rules separating the sexes.

The move is Saudi Arabia's first social reform planned for this year giving women greater rights.

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.

"Today, you brought happiness to every Saudi family and woman who attended the first game", Reema Bandar Al-Saud, a deputy at the General Sports Authority and part of the Saudi Royal family, told CNN.

Al-Ahl beat their opponents 5-0 in the Saudi Professional League clash. Local media said women would also have their own designated smoking areas. Soccer is very popular in Saudi Arabia, with many fans of worldwide and local leagues, but female enthusiasts long had to content themselves with watching their favorite teams on television.

MARVEL Hires Writer for BLACK WIDOW Film
It also claim that some of Marvel's execs have met up with Johansson to discuss what they would want from a writer for the movie. But in a different turn of events, another female superhero movie - Captain Marvel (2019) - got the green light.

Friday's match was the first in a series that will be open to women: a second is due to take place on Saturday and a third on January 18.

Some people used the hashtag online to write that women should stay at home to focus on children and preserving their faith, and not at a stadium packed with males.

The initiative to allow women into stadiums is part of the government's Vision 2030 program, spearheaded by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and aimed at giving more freedom to women.

In 2015, an Australian female supporter of Western Sydney Wanderers soccer club was permitted to attend a match at Riyadh's main stadium and a group of American women traveling with a U.S. Congress delegation also watched a local club match there.

Like this: