Saudi Arabia allows women to attend soccer match

Ukraine chess champion ready for praise and blame over Saudi boycott

Ukraine chess champion ready for praise and blame over Saudi boycott

Al Ahli take on Al Batin in the Saudi Pro League, which will be the first game that a woman can watch from inside the King Abdullah Sports City stadium.

Women were allowed to enter the stadium through "family gates" and into the family seating area as part of easing the strict rules on gender separation.

Dressed in headscarves and long flowing abbayas the women filed into the stadium, ushered by women in orange T-shirts over their conservative dress, to take up seats at the "family section" of the stands, separate from the male spectators.

Reema said the day marked a historic moment for the kingdom.

"Family sections" also allowed married couples, direct relatives and groups of friends to sit together.

Lamya Khaled Nasser, a 32-year-old football fan from Jeddah, told AFP she was proud and looked forward to the match.

Previously women could watch matches on television only.

"I am very excited".

Saudi Arabia's royal family and religious establishment adhere to an austere form of Sunni Islam and Islamic codes of behaviour, which are strictly enforced.