For the first time in 40 years Iranian women allowed to attend a football match

For The First Time In 40 Years Iranian Women Allowed To Attend A Football Match

Following a ban on women entering sporting venues, hundreds of Iranian women attended a professional domestic football match in Tehran for the first time in more than 40 years.

According to the nation’s semi-official state news agency Fars, 500 women were permitted entry into Tehran’s Azadi stadium to watch a league game between Esteghlal FC, a team based in Tehran, and visiting Sanat Mes Kerman FC, a team from the city of Kerman.

Women were separated from men in the stadium and entered through a special entrance via a parking lot, Iranian Football Federation website stated.

The prohibition against women entering sports arenas in Iran was implemented shortly after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 but is not explicitly stated in Iranian law.

Thursday marked the first time in more than 40 years that Iranian women soccer fans could watch a domestic game.

500 women were allowed entry to the game, where they entered the stadium through a separate entrance from the men.

“We’re happy that you’re present in the Azadi stadium,” Esteghlal FC’s official account said in a short tweet.

As Iran qualified for the World Cup in Qatar in November, Iranian women were finally able to witness a historic event.

Three years ago, after pressure from human rights organisations and FIFA, thousands of women were allowed to attend a World Cup Qualifier game between Iran and Cambodia in 2019.

In particular, it was following the death of Sahar Khodayari, a female fan who set herself on fire because she was denied access to a football stadium in Tehran, FIFA came under increasing pressure to persuade Iran to lift its ban on women entering sporting venues.

In March 2019, Khodayari was charged with “openly committing a sinful act” by “appearing in public without a hijab” when she attempted to enter a stadium “dressed as a man”.

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