Report: Saudi Arabia considers allowing women sport clubs

By REUTERS
April 28, 2012 15:51

LONDON - Saudi Arabia has set up a ministerial committee to consider allowing women's sports clubs, al-Watan daily newspaper reported on Saturday, despite opposition to female exercise from religious conservatives.

Abdullah al-Zamil, a senior official from the General Presidency of Youth Welfare, the top Saudi sporting body, said the committee was being formed to end the "chaos" surrounding women's sports clubs which are effectively unregulated, Watan reported.

"The mission of the committee is focused on building a system for these clubs," the newspaper, owned by a member of the Saudi royal family, quoted Zamil as saying.

In the austere desert kingdom, powerful clerics have long argued against women playing sports or doing physical exercise, forcing female gyms to be designated as expensive "health centers."

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