The director of the Saudi football league said Saudi authorities had made an exception for Swedish women football fans who live in the ultraconservative kingdom to attend the game between Sweden and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday night.

Normally women are not allowed to mix with men in public places in Saudi Arabia, which follows a strict interpretation of Islam.

Any large gathering of people, including football spectators, is restricted to men unless there is a separate accommodation for women, who are usually kept out of sight of men.

"We have made an exception for the Swedish women so they can attend the game," said Saudi league director Faisal Abd al-Hadi.

"They will be seated in a separate section in the stadium. They will be allowed to watch the game but they will not be allowed to mingle with the Saudi crowd."

The Saudi-Sweden game is set to begin on Wednesday after the evening prayers.