Saudi ‘will not stop its women from Olympics’
Riyadh, April 6, 2012
Saudi Arabia will not prevent its female citizens from competing in the Olympics, but it will not officially endorse them, the head of the country's sporting authority was quoted as telling a newspaper.
'We don't endorse any Saudi female participation in the Olympiad and international tournaments,' al-Riyadh daily quoted Prince Nawaf bin Faisal, head of the General Presidency of Youth Welfare, as saying.
'Female Saudi participation will be according to the wishes of students and others living abroad. All we are doing is to ensure that participation is in the proper framework and in conformity with sharia,' he was reported to have said.
Prince Nawaf acknowledged there was a growing demand for sports among Saudi women.
'There are now hundreds or thousands who practice sports but in a private way and without any relationship to the General Presidency of Youth Welfare,' he said. – Reuters