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Female fans were allowed to attend football matches for the first time on Friday.

The first match that women will be attending is the Al-Ahli versus Al-Batin on Friday Jan. 12.

It said women would also be able to attend a second match on the following day and a third one on January 18.

Women from across the vast Gulf kingdom may be able to take advantage of this new freedom as the first match will be held in the capital Riyadh, the second in Jeddah on the Red Sea and the third in the eastern city of Dammam.

The move is Saudi Arabia’s first social reform planned for this year granting women greater rights.

To prepare for the change, the kingdom has designated “family sections” in the stands for women, separated by barriers from the male-only crowd. The stadiums have also been fitted with female prayer areas, restrooms and smoking areas, as well as separate entrances and parking lots for female spectators.

The General Sports Authority is preparing the surrounding squares in the King Abdullah Sports City (Al-Jawhara) with food trucks and a number of sporting and social events to create a distinctive social environment before the matches. Read More …

Female fans were allowed to attend football matches for the first time on Friday. The first match that women will be attending is the Al-Ahli versus Al-Batin on Friday Jan. 12. It said women would also be able to attend a second match on the following day and a third one on January 18. Women from across the vast Gulf kingdom may be able to take advantage of this new freedom as the first match will be held in the capital Riyadh, the second in Jeddah on the Red Sea and the third in the eastern city of Dammam. The move is Saudi Arabia’s first social reform planned for this year granting women greater rights.