International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has discussed the issue of women’s participation in sports with Saudi Arabia’s Olympic chief.

Mr. Bach held talks in Riyadh with Prince Nawaf Faisal Fahd bin Abdul-Aziz, an IOC member and president of the national Olympic committee in the ultra-conservative Muslim country.

The IOC said on Wednesday that Mr. Bach promised “full support” for the country’s sports development strategy through 2020. The plan includes “proposals to increase women’s participation in the Olympic Games and in sport in general.”

Saudi women are largely banned from participating in sports in the kingdom, although there are several football and basketball clubs that play in clandestine leagues. After prolonged negotiations with the IOC, Saudi Arabia sent women to the Olympics for the first time in 2012, with two female athletes competing at the London Games.

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