All eyes were on the pitch and the stands at this history-making match.

The action may have been happening on the pitch, but the real victory was happening in the stands.

Women in Saudi Arabia have entered Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City stadium for the very first time, following a landmark ruling last year that families would be able to attend matches in the kingdom.

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It was revealed in October that women would be allowed to attend events in previously male-only stadiums in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, with the first family-friendly match taking place on January 12.

The Saudi Pro League game saw Al-Ahli take on Al-Batin, with many women photographed in the designated family seating areas waving flags and sporting club memorabilia.

 

Previously, women were barred from visiting stadiums due to the kingdom’s strict rules around gender segregation.

The Saudi government has confirmed a second match on Saturday and a third next Thursday will be open to women, The Guardian reports, with the rest of the nation’s football grounds open for women next season.

saudi stadium national day

Women-only restaurants and prayer rooms will be established inside venues, the kingdom’s sports authority confirmed last year.

Female football fans were first allowed into Riyadh’s King Fahd stadium in September to celebrate the kingdom’s National Day, shortly before the decision became long-term.

The reform comes under Vision 2030, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious post-oil economic plan which aims to make Saudi a more modern, tourist-friendly destination.

Images: Getty