RIYADH, January 8 (CIC) – In a Saudi Arabia first, women will for the first time enter major sports stadiums to attend three football matches this month pitting local sides against each other in the Saudi Professional League competition.
The first match that women will be allowed to watch will be Al-Ahli versus Al-Batin on Friday January 12, followed by Al-Hilal versus Al-Ittihad the following day, and then a match between Al-Ittifaq and Al-Faisali on Thursday January 18.
In October, the General Sports Authority (GSA) issued a decision that as of early 2018 three stadiums, up to now male-only facilities, will be prepared to be ready for families, including allocation of special places for seating and entrances. They are King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, and Prince Mohammed bin Fahd Stadium in Dammam.
It was one of a series of landmark decisions empowering women in the Kingdom, following King Salman’s historic announcement in September that women would be allowed to drive from June 2018.