Saudi Arabia allows women to attend football matches

08:02 PM | 8 Jan, 2018
Saudi Arabia allows women to attend football matches
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RIYADH - For the first time in the history of Saudi Arabia, the Islamic kingdom has allowed women to attend football matches as part of the latest reforms to hit Gulf nation.

The ministry of information confirmed on Monday that women can attend the Al-Ahli versus Al-Batin held in the capital Riyadh on 12 January, with the stadium also permitting women at other games in Jeddah on 13 January and Dammam on 18 January.

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Under the current laws in the ultraconservative kingdom, women have been unable to attend any sporting occasion and must also get the permission of a male family member – usually a husband, brother or father – if they want to travel or study or take part in a range of other activities.

Women, who have recently only just been allowed into the national stadium for the very first time in August, were also permitted to attend a concert in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

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The move to allow women into football games is one of a number proposed changes in Saudi Arabia by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as part of the country's Vision 2030 reform programme.

Vision 2030 aims to expand previously restricted social policies, as well as diversify the economy away from oil by opening itself up to tourism and entertainment.

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