Women attend football match for first time ever in Saudi Arabia


Saudi Arabia has allowed women to spectate at a stadium sporting event for the first time.

The move is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's ambitious project to modernise the Saudi society and boost its economy.

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 women's presence marked a significant moment for the ultra-conservative Muslim country and followed a series of reforms meant to modernise the Kingdom.

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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. The structure of the stadium accommodated the segregation with women-only auto parks and separate entrances for the female spectators.

Around 7,500 seats in the 62,000-seat King Abdullah Stadium were made available to women and families, according to Saudi sports authorities. "Welcome to Saudi families", read a sign in Arabic erected across the section of the stadium reserved for women.

While many supported and welcomed the decision to allow women into stadiums, others spoke out against it.