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Saudi Women Were Able To Attend A Football Match And The Pictures Are Glorious

Female football fans still need the permission of their male guardians to attend and are restricted to specially adapted "female only" seating areas.

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Women in Saudi Arabia attended football matches for the first time in the kingdom's history on Friday.

Stringer / AFP / Getty Images

The law change, made in October last year, is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's attempts at reforming deeply restrictive laws placed on women in Saudi Arabia.

الجوهرة يستعد لـ #دخول_العائلات_للملاعب

On Friday afternoon women were admitted to the King Abdullah Sports City stadium in Jeddah, to watch the al-Ahli team face off against al-Batin. Across the country, two more stadiums (in Riyadh and Dammam) will also admit women for the first time.

In 2016 a woman was arrested after she managed to sneak into a match.

Women, who will still need the permission of their male guardian to attend matches, will be restricted to specially adapted "female only" seating areas, cafes, and smoking zones. Mohammed al-Shalaibi, director of property and construction site 3adad.net, tweeted out images of the Jeddah stadium ahead of the match.

Female attendants were ready for the match at the Jeddah stadium.

هيئة الرياضة تخصص فريق عمل متكامل لتسهيل مهام دخول العائلات إلى مدرجات ملعب الجوهرة . .… https://t.co/f3RodOuQIa

Saudi football clubs tweeted out promotions for their family tickets for the game, as well as messages of support for the decision to admit women for the first time.

أسعار تذاكر #الأهلي_الباطن في موقع مكاني: - عائلات ٢٠ ريال - موحد ٢٠ ريال - منصة فضي ٣١٥ ريال - منصة ذهبي ٧٣٥ ريال… https://t.co/uQRLqUWKl6

And women have been able to buy abayas – the long robes that they must wear in public – in a few of their teams' colors since November.

الاتحادي والاتحادية هما سند هذا النادي، فالنجاح لا يكتمل إلا بهم وباتحادهم لخدمة هذا الكيان العريق، بكم يكتمل المشه… https://t.co/VO1qCxSgHc

Women celebrated being able to watch matches, with video showing them arriving at the Jeddah stadium.

📹HISTORIC. Women & families arriving to @KASCJed Stadium for @AlAhli_FC v @AlBatinClub. The first time in… https://t.co/CjRbI2y2S7

One of the clubs playing on Friday also tweeted out images of women arriving at the stadium.

#الدوري_السعودي_للمحترفين الجولة 17 #الأهلي_الباطن صور من توافد جماهير النادي #الأهلي إلى ملعب مدينة الملك عبدالله… https://t.co/J8KFPrcXUm

LIVE: Families continue to arrive for the Al-#Ahli vs. Al-#Batin game: https://t.co/6qvdrXRzkJ

Lamya Khaled Nasser, 32, told AFP that the ability to go to Jeddah stadium "proves that we are heading for a prosperous future" and that she was "proud" to witness this "massive change" for her country.

Stringer / AFP / Getty Images

Another woman, Noura Bakharji, said she had always been upset that her brothers were able to watch football in the stadium.

Stringer / AFP / Getty Images

"I asked myself repeatedly, 'Why I can't go?'" she said. "Today, things have changed. It's a day of happiness and joy."

Stringer / AFP / Getty Images

Rose Troup Buchanan is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rose Troup Buchanan at Rose.Buchanan@BuzzFeed.com.

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