Saudi woman arrested for watching football match

This video says about itself:

The Secret Life of a Saudi Women‘s Soccer Team

10 August 2012

As Saudi Arabia sends female athletes to the Olympics for the first time, women within the country struggle for basic sports and fitness facilities.

From Associated Press:

Saudi woman arrested for attending football match in Riyadh

Woman says she did not know women were prohibited from football stadiums, which are male only in Saudi Arabia

Monday 15 December 2014 18.56 GMT

A Saudi woman arrested while attending a football game in the kingdom claims she did not know women were prohibited from going to the male-only stadiums, the state-linked Okaz newspaper reported on Monday.

Saudi Arabia enforces strict gender segregation and has no designated areas for women at football stadiums, though authorities have announced plans for “family” areas from where women can watch matches.

However, there have been exceptions for foreign women. In October, an Australian female supporter of Western Sydney Wanderers football club was permitted to attend a match at Riyadh’s main stadium. In January, a group of American women traveling with members of US Congress watched a local club match, also in Riyadh.

The arrested woman, whose name has not been made public, said she bought a ticket online without any problems and attended Friday night’s game in the Red Sea city of Jeddah’s new al-Jawhara stadium. The game was between Jeddah’s al-Ittihad and Riyadh’s al-Shabab.

Police spokesman Atti al-Qurashi said security spotted her at the stadium “deliberately disguised” in male attire to avoid detection, reported the state-linked news website Twasul.

Okaz reported Sunday that police questioned the woman, who is in her twenties, for “impersonating” a man by wearing pants, a long-sleeve top, a hat and sunglasses. Most women in Saudi Arabia cover their hair and face with a veil and all women are required to wear an abaya, a loose black dress, in public.

The paper said the woman has been in police custody since Friday and is being held at a centre for girls in the western province of Mecca. No charges have been raised so far.

Ultra-conservative Saudi clerics shun female access to exercise and women’s teams are not part of the kingdom’s federation that oversees sports. Women often struggle to find facilities to train and are not allowed to attend matches in stadiums.

9 thoughts on “Saudi woman arrested for watching football match

  1. I didn’t realize what a deleterious effect their repressive life style had on their women. Obesity and diabetes which can be stabilized or even eliminated by more physical activity is a necessity. The emotional repercussions have got to be even worse for them.


  2. It’s only to be expected when a woman watches all those scantily clad men running around on a pitch. I understand the Saudi Arabia may soon join the rest of the 18th century with the other progressive Islamic states.


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