New Sound at Saudi Soccer Game: Women Cheering From the Stands

These efforts are part of broader reforms he is leading to restructure the Saudi economy away from its dependence on oil, temper the kingdom’s religious rhetoric and provide new employment and entertainment options for the kingdom’s large youth population, including women.

Female fans of the team Al-Ahli lined up at a separate entrance in Jidda, Saudi Arabia, on Friday. Women were allowed to attend the public event for the first time.

Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The decision to allow women to attend soccer games — albeit in “family sections” that keep them separate from the all-male sections — is part of these efforts. It also seeks to get Saudi families to spend more of their money on entertainment at home instead of going abroad to have fun.

A former Saudi sports journalist shared a photo of female ushers preparing to greet the female fans and their families.

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