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Saudi women to be allowed into sports stadiums next year

Saudi women to be allowed into sports stadiums next year

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia will allow women into sports stadiums as of next year, the kingdom's latest step toward easing rules on gender segregation but they will be seated in the so-called family section, an area separate from the male-only crowd.

The General Sports Authority described Sunday's decision as one that will allow "families" into the stadiums, a term authorities use to refer to public spaces that accommodate women.

The authority said the three major sports stadiums in the cities of Riyadh, Jiddah and Dammam will undergo renovations to accommodate families, reversing years of long-standing practice to allow only men into the stadiums.

The decision comes after the public appeared to welcome last month's move that allowed women for the first time into the Riyadh stadium for national day celebrations.

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