Saudi Arabia to seek extradition of corruption suspects


It was a historic moment in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Friday night at King Abdullah Sports City stadium, not because Al-Ahli F.C. beat Al-Batin F.C. 5-0, but because women could walk through the venue's doors. It is the first time that Saudi female citizens and families attended sporting events in the stadium.

Saudi security forces have rounded up dozens of members of the political and business elite, holding them in Riyadh's opulent Ritz Carlton hotel on the orders of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Around 7,500 seats in the 62,000-seat King Abdullah Stadium were made available to women and families, according to Saudi sports authorities.

One of the changes is to allow women to drive cars, a move which is set to take full effect in June.

Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor has said he will pursue extradition for corruption suspects living overseas as part of a two-month-old crackdown that has already netted princes and tycoons.

The Crown Prince, 32, has been hailed as the face of these changes. It also provides women with solutions to finance their purchase provided by leading banks and financial companies.

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Now, women attending games must remain in designated "family sections", which are separate from other, all-male portions of the bleachers.

The result of last Friday's game? But some people used the hash tag to criticize the event, writing that the place of women is in their homes, focusing on their children and preserving their faith, and not at a stadium where male crowds may curse and get rowdy.

The kingdom, which has some of the world's tightest restrictions on women, has long barred them from sports arenas through strict rules that keep the sexes apart in public.

Saudi Arabia, which was the only nation around the globe to prohibit female drivers, past year also permitted women to drive in the nation.

The stadium in the capital, Riyadh, will open to women on Saturday, followed by the western city of Dammam on Thursday.