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Call to Boycott Saudi Match

Published tisdag 17 januari 2006 kl 11.05
Women are not allowing inside Prince Faisal Stadium

There have been calls for Sweden to withdraw from a friendly soccer match against Saudi Arabia Wednesday, because the Saudi authorities refuse to allow women into the stadium.

Carina Hägg, a member of the Swedish parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee for the ruling Social Democrat party, has rejected arguments Sweden has to respect Saudi cultural traditions. She says it is not culture, but rather an issue of the oppression of women, which Sweden legitimizes in taking part in the match.

The question has apparently split the ruling Social Democrats. Sports Minister Bosse Ringholm says Sweden cannot refuse to play in every country with democratic flaws, while Gender Equality Minister Jens Orback says he doesn’t want to take a position,

The Swedish national team’s assistant captain says that if women want to watch the game they can see it on television.

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