Saudi female football fan: 'We wanted to enter stadiums and we did'

Saudi female football fan: 'We wanted to enter stadiums and we did'
From BBC - January 14, 2018

A woman who helped to organise Saudi Arabia's first football match allowing female spectators has told the BBC it was a "great and surreal" experience.

Football fan Sarah Alkashgari, 18, made history after she not only attended but worked at Friday's match in Jeddah.

Unaccompanied adult women were allowed to enter the stadium to watch Al-Ahli play Al-Batin.

The move is part of an easing of strict rules on gender separation in the kingdom.

Ms Alkashgar, a student at King Abdulaziz university, was responsible for greeting guests and showing them to their seats.

"It was about women finally achieving one of their demands. We wanted to enter the stadiums and we did," she explained.

"I am a hardcore football fan. I like playing it and watching it."

"But I have not been to a football match before. This was my first one. As a Saudi woman, it was more than a match.

"It was about contributing in any way I can, even if it was as part of a 200-girl team helping to organise," she continued, adding that watching her team, Al-Ahli, win 5-0 at home was "amazing".

A second football match with female spectators in attendance took place on Saturday and a third will take place on Thursday.


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