Three football matches in Saudi Arabia will welcome female supporters for the first time as the ban on their attendance at sporting events ends this weekend.
Special sections will be open for women to attend the matches between Al Ahli and Al Batin (Friday, January 12) and Al Hilal and Al Ittihad (Saturday, January 13) in Round 17 of the Saudi Professional League and then Al Ittifaq and Al Faisali (Thursday, January 18) in Round 18.
The lifting of the ban was announced on October 29, one month after the prohibition on women driving was rescinded, and the 11 weeks since then have been spent preparing the three stadia for the change.
King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, King Abdullah Stadium in Jeddah and Prince Mohammad bin Fahd Stadium in Dammam have all been approved by the Saudi General Sports Authority (GSA).
Speaking to the Riyadh Daily newspaper, undersecretary of technical affairs and investment at GSA, Abdul Rahman Al Qadheeb, said that “there will be a number of ways in which women will be granted access to the matches, including the ticketing system which will be invested in, and the electronic gates which will be controlled and transferred between the three stadiums as well as other places on the field in case the stadium is crowded.”
The announcement follows a series of family-friendly events at the respective stadia in order to ready the staff for the landmark change.
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