Episode: The Pioneers

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The Pioneers
A female football fan tells us what it was like when her dream of watching her favourite team in the flesh came true. Fathers teaching their young daughters about football tactics, women attending stadia without guardians and, later in 2018, being allowed to drive. Is football heralding a new era in the Kingdom? In the week that Spartak Moscow describe three of their black players as “chocolates” in a joke, the Nigeria striker, Peter Odemwingie, tells us there’s no racism in Russia. Odemwingie is half-Russian, and played there for three years, but he says the amount of black players in the Russian Premier League proves that Russia is a welcoming country. We pay tribute to Cyrille Regis, who overcame fierce racism to be regarded as a hero by fans of all English clubs. We hear about how John Aldridge etched his name into the history of Real Sociedad, and the former Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin calls on Arsenal fans to keep faith with Arsene Wenger. (Photo: The first women allowed into football stadia in Saudi Arabia. Credit: Getty Images)

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