For the first time in history, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has allowed women into Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City Stadium to watch a men’s football match. Although the match was Al-Ahli versus Al-Batin, the victory went to the women.
Up until then, women were not allowed to watch men’s football matches, even if their spouses or children were playing. Though female fans are now allowed to attend the matches, there are designated seating areas for women and families to sit. HRH Princess Reema Bint Bandar was among the attendees, the first woman to head a Saudi multi-sports federation.
The decision to open up stadiums to female spectators for the first time was announced last October. More stadiums are set to open for women by the beginning of the next sporting season.
The move is in alignment with the Kingdom’s ongoing social and economic reforms issued by the Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman. Last year, Bin Salman, 32, pledged to “modernize” the Gulf country. Other historic changes coming to Saudi Arabia include the opening of public cinemas in May and allowing women to drive by June.