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Women Attend Football Match for First Time Ever in Saudi Arabia

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 Saudi government allowed women to observe the game with other family members at the King Abdullah Sports City stadium, Al Arabiya local news reported on Friday.

The result meant Al-Ahli closed the gap on table toppers Al-Hilal to one point.

To prepare for the change, the kingdom has designated "family sections" in the stands for women.

"Today, you brought happiness to every Saudi family and woman who attended the first game", said Reema Bandar Al-Saud, a deputy at the General Sports Authority and part of the Saudi Royal family was quoted as saying by CNN.

"My daughters still don't believe this is happening".

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Enthusiasm for the historic encounter began well before the scheduled 8:00 pm kick-off. "I asked myself repeatedly 'Why I can't go?'" she told AFP. He made that clear last September by allowing women to attend a Riyadh-based stadium last September to celebrate the country's national day.

Some clubs are offering special abayas in team colours.

The move was the first of Saudi Arabia's social reforms planned for this year to ease restrictions on women, spearheaded by the kingdom's 32-year-old crown prince.

State-owned Saudi Airlines announced prizes of free tickets for five families who want to travel between cities to watch games.

Fatimah Baeshen, spokeswoman at the Saudi embassy in Washington "rooted for the ladies" in a message on Twitter. "I'm rooting for the ladies - enjoy!"