Saudi women to enter stadiums for first time to watch soccer

Saudi Arabia allows women at football game for first time

As the two teams al-Ahli and al-Batin faced each other in the city of Jeddah, women showed up to their first public sporting event in the Kingdom to support the sides with their spouses, children and friends.

It follows a series of reforms meant to modernize the country.

Earlier on Friday, ahead of the football game, there was another small sign of change: the country's first auto showroom dedicated to female customers was opened.

The female spectators, segregated in the "family section" of the stands, stood and cheered when local players scored goals.

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There are, however, several things that Saudi women still can not do without the permission of the men in their lives - including applying for passports, travelling overseas, getting married, opening a bank account, starting particular businesses, getting elective surgery, or leaving prison. Both ushers and fans wore the traditional black robe.

The move is part of an easing of restrictions on women initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the conservative Muslim country.

A decades long ban on movie theaters was also lifted in December as part of the crown prince's vision to boost the country's entertainment industry.

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