Supporters | Women welcomed to Prince Abdullah al-Faisal

Jedda, Saudi Arabia | Following evening prayers, Saudi Arabia and Sweden played a friendly match tonight with historic implications: for the first time, and after pressure from Swedish authorities, women were allowed to attend. The normally rigid gender separation in public was relaxed a bit for female Swedish supporters. “They will be allowed to watch the game but they will not be allowed to mingle with the Saudi crowd,” said Saudi league director Faisal Abd al-Hadi. According to the author of Web log “Saudi Jeans,” Swedish authorities had been told that anyone, including Saudi women, would be welcome at Prince Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium. “I really suspect this,” writes this blogger. “I’m afraid that Saudis told [the] Swedish embassy such [a] thing because they are sure no Saudi woman would dare to show up at the stadium.”

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