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Saudi Launches Women’s League

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Saudi Arabia is to launch a female football league, two years after women were first allowed into stadiums in the Gulf kingdom.

The league will play its matches in the capital, Riyadh, and two other cities.

The creation of the league is the latest of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reforms in Saudi Arabia, which has long been seen as one of the world’s strictest societies.

Campaigners say much more remains to be done for women’s rights.

Officials say the aim of the latest move is to boost female participation in sport.

“The launch of the [league] bolsters women’s participation in sports at the community level and will generate increased recognition for women’s sports achievements,” the government-run Saudi Sports for All Federation said.

Saudi women were first allowed into a football stadium in January 2018 – the same year that the Gulf kingdom ended a decades-long ban on female drivers.

Last year, a royal decree allowed Saudi women to travel abroad without a male guardian’s permission and restaurant segregation was scrapped.

 

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