Manama: A young Saudi woman has been referred to the police for questioning after she was apprehended inside a football stadium watching a match.
The young woman was arrested for flouting the rules that ban women from attending matches by disguising herself as a young man to enter the stadium in the Red Sea resort city of Jeddah.
A spokesperson for the police in the Makkah Region, Aati Al Qarshi, said that the woman was arrested on Friday as she was matching the match between Shabab and Al Ittihad at the Jawhara Stadium.
The young woman was reportedly wearing male clothes and was covering her head to hide her hair in order not to attract attention of people and risk being arrested.
She reportedly bought the ticket for the match online and was able to enter without raising doubts about her gender.
Saudi Arabia has a very strict policy regarding female attendance of football matches. Permissions were needed to allow foreign women to watch the matches in which their home teams were playing.
Online comments urged authorities to show lenience with the woman, arguing she did not do any harm and that she sat alone on a bleacher as she watched the game.
Football is very popular in the kingdom and matches, particularly between top teams are often treated as large national news.