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Reuters: Pakistani's Allowed to Watch Women Soccer

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Pakistani authorities let men watch women's soccer

KARACHI, Pakistan, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Football authorities in Pakistan have dropped restrictions on men watching women play soccer a senior official said on Saturday.

"Anybody can come and watch the matches," Pakistan Football Federation technical director Mir Farooq told Reuters. "We have made adequate security and seating arrangements for everyone."

When the women's championship was launched last year in this Muslim country, the PFF did not allow unaccompanied men to watch. Only men who came with their families were allowed in.

Farooq said the women players had to wear baggy track suit trousers and long-sleeved shirts and their matches were to be supervised by a women referee, helped by one male and one female assistant.

"We want to promote women's sports but we are also aware of the sensitivities associated with women's sports," he said.

Women regularly take part in sports including soccer and cricket but they are supposed to follow strict dress codes that ensure their bodies are covered and they are segregated from men.

National football coach Tariq Lutfi said more women were playing soccer, particularly after the World Cup. As a result, 12 teams are taking part in this year's competition, up from eight last year.

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