Women in Saudi Arabia Can Attending Sporting Events at Select Stadiums

Women in Saudi Arabia Can Attending Sporting Events at Select Stadiums

As a result, women will be allowed into Prince Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium in Jeddah on Friday to watch a Saudi Premier League football match for the very first time.

Females spectators on Friday cheered on two of the teams in the Saudi Professional League, Al-Ahli F.C. and Al-Batin F.C. Al-Ahli won 5-0.

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 members of U.S. Congress watched a local club match, also in Riyadh.

The first football match attended by women takes place a day after the first female-only vehicle showroom opened in Jeddah on Thursday, which is staffed completely by women.

The kingdom's General Sports Authority had made the announcement in October 2017.

Prior to the decision, only men were allowed to drive and women who were caught doing so were fined and arrested.

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Women are restricted from doing numerous things that men can do in the country, such as participate in sports alongside men, swim in the same pools as men, open bank accounts or leave the house without the permission of a male guardian.

After the decree was issued, the company launched a series of 90-minute training sessions, in the Saudi cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar, targeting Saudi women who have already acquired valid driving licenses while overseas.

It is set to be a significant one, not least as there is genuine passion for sports in all sections of Saudi Arabia.

"I always watched games on TV while my brothers went to the stadiums".

In a decree issued in September, King Salman ordered by June an end to the ban on women drivers, a conservative tradition that has limited women's mobility and been seen by rights activists as an emblem of their suppression. For the first time in modern history, Saudi Arabia's football loving female population will have other goals on their mind.

Women have long complained of the many constraints the driving ban has imposed on their lives, such as not being able to drive to work.

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