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“I’m not going to watch a match where women can’t go in”

The Italian Deputy Prime Minister, Matteo Salvini, has joined criticism over the discriminatory seating policy in place for the Italian Supercup, to be held in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

Matteo Salvini durante un discurso.
Michele TantussiGetty Images

Female fans who want to attend the Italian Supercup, to be played on 16 January 2019 between Juventus and Milan in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, can only do so if they are accompanied by a man.

According to the rules governing ticket sales, there are separate areas for men and for ‘families’. Women can only acquire tickets as part of a family for these latter sections. Until the start of last year women weren’t allowed to attend sporting events in Saudi Arabia.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister attacks discrimination at Juventus vs Milan

The discriminatory seating policy has unleashed a wave of protests, with Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini joining the criticism, publishing a statement: “I’m not going to watch a match where women can’t go in. It’s very sad, it’s disgusting”.

The organisers of Italian football reached an agreement with the General Sports Authority in Saudi Arabia to host three of the next five editions of the Italian Supercup in the country, for a sum of around seven million euros according to Italian agency Ansa.

The head of Serie A, Gaetano Micciché defended the move and said: “Our Supercup will be remembered as the first official international competition which Saudi Arabian women can watch in person”

The game has been threatened with suspension if the sexist seating approach isn’t changed, but according to Serie A the tickets have “flown” having been put on sale.


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