Saudi Arabia women score right to watch men's football in stadiums

First time ever- Saudi women enter stadium to watch soccer

First time ever- Saudi women enter stadium to watch soccer

The Saudi government said last week women would be allowed to attend a second match on Saturday and a third next Thursday.

"As we speak; Saudi women fans are entering soccer stadiums!"

The game began at 8:00 pm (1700 GMT), but two hours before the historic kick-off enthusiasm was palpable as women supporters began arriving at the stadium.

Some pictures showed women with children entering the stadium, where signs were posted to indicate an entrance for families.

"Family sections" are ubiquitous across the kingdom, allowing married couples, direct relatives and sometimes groups of friends to sit together, isolated from male-only tables at restaurants and in waiting areas at banks and hospitals. 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.

The decision to allow females into stadiums is part of several reforms being made by Saudi Arabia, which will allow females to drive for the first time ever starting in June.

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 worldwide image.

The university student was among around 300 Saudi women who thronged Pearl stadium in the Red Sea city of Jeddah after the ultra-conservative kingdom eases decades-old rules separating the sexes.

Previously women could watch matches on television only.

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