Saudi women seek equal membership in sports clubs

Updated 25 March 2013
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Saudi women seek equal membership in sports clubs

The Youth Welfare Office is studying the issue of Saudi businesswomen supporting sports clubs and whether they should be given honorary or ordinary membership, according to Ahmed Rosie, director of the Youth Welfare Office in Jeddah.
There are no specific rules that prevent or allow women to be members in local sports clubs.
However, Rosie said that women should donate money until the issue is discussed properly.
“So far there is no specific system that prevents women from being sports club members in the country,” said Rosie. “There have never been women members. This means that women are entitled to provide the clubs with moral and financial support as donors. This will happen with the provision of certain services or facilities to the club without any official order, (and with the woman) knowing she does not have the right to obtain an honorary or regular membership.”
Lina Almaeena, cofounder and director of the Jeddah United Sports Company and captain of the Jeddah United basketball team, is optimistic about this news and believes donation is the first step forward on the issue.
“It’s not a gender issue,” Almaeena said. “I believe that anyone who is familiar with the game and the rules should qualify to be members of any club and not just football. There are a good number of women who are into sports and they should have the opportunity to invest and be part of the club.”
Women should wait for the privatization of all sports clubs, said Maher Bondakji, chairman of the board of directors of Al-Marabie and former candidate for the presidency of the Ittihad Saudi football team.
“There should be special and tailored rules for women sports club members that enables them to attend the meetings and visit the team. It is a great step for businesswomen and those women who have money in the bank.”
“To be honest our sports clubs need their opinions and suggestions because women have the right to join like men,” said Bondakji.
Hanan Al-Faisal, businesswoman and Al-Ahli football team fan, said: “This is a brilliant move for Saudi women and I believe many women would love to invest in their favorite clubs especially football teams. But why do they limit women to donate money only and not be decision makers.”


Saudi Arabia says missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead

Updated 20 October 2018
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Saudi Arabia says missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead

  • The journalist died after a fistfight at the consulate in Istanbul
  • Deputy intelligence chief, royal court adviser removed from positions, 18 Saudis arrested

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday the death of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying a preliminary investigation indicated he lost his life after a fight at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
“The discussions between Jamal Khashoggi and those he met at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul... devolved into a fistfight, leading to his death,” the Saudi Press Agency said, citing the public prosecutor.
Eighteen Saudis have been arrested in connection with the incident and the investigation is ongoing, the public prosecutor said.
“The Kingdom expresses its deep regret at the painful developments that have taken place and stresses the commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the public opinion, to hold all those involved accountable and bring them to justice,” a statement on the SPA said.
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the consulate to complete paperwork related to his divorce.
Deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Al-Asiri was removed from his position and Saud Al-Qahtani from his advisory role at the Royal Court, through royal decrees.
Three other intelligence officials who were also sacked have been named as Mohammad bin Saleh Al-Rumaih, Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Shaya and Rashad bin Hamed Al-Muhamadi.
King Salman also ordered the creation of a ministerial committee, headed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to restructure the country’s General Intelligence agency and issue the results of its work within a month.
Members of the committee include the interior and foreign ministers as well as the heads of the General Intelligence and State Security.
A team of Saudi investigators were sent to Istanbul and have been working on the case with Turkish detectives, who entered the consulate on Thursday.
Earlier in the week, Saudi Arabia promised a thorough and transparent investigation into what happened to the journalist in Turkey.