Sport

Women to Attend Football Match in Iran, Ending 40-Year Ban!

Women to Attend Football Match in Iran, Ending 40-Year Ban!”

While women have already taken up their entire allocation, only 2,500 men have so far purchased electronic tickets for the more than 70,000 seats available to them, ISNA news agency said.

The decision to allow women into the game came amid pressure from football's world governing body Fifa, which had threatened Iran with a ban if it did not permit female supporters in the ground.

Sahar Khodayari self-immolated outside a courthouse after being arrested trying to sneak into the Azadi stadium disguised as a man to watch her beloved Esteghlal FC face UAE's Al Ain in an AFC Champions League match.

The 24-year-old is now attracting headlines aplenty thanks to a string of notable displays for club side Zenit St. Petersburg - not least in the UEFA Champions League where he has scored two goals in as many games.

"We are firm and committed that all fans have an equal right, including women, to attend matches".

Iran's ban on women attending sports stadiums is not written into law but was put in place shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran even barred a woman from holding a sign for the country when it attended its first Summer Olympics in 1986 in South Korea.

"To our knowledge, Iran is the only country in the world that stops and punishes women seeking to enter football stadiums", it added.

"The Iranian authorities should lift all restrictions on women attending football matches, including domestic league games, across the country", added Luther.

A group of Irish women received special permission to attend a qualifier between Iran and Ireland in Tehran in 2001.

Iranian female soccer fans entered the national stadium for the first time in 40 years Thursday to watch their side thrash Cambodia 14-0 in Tehran. Footage of the match showed the male stands were mostly empty.

"History teaches us that progress comes in stages and this is just the beginning of a journey".

"I don't think it's fair to say that it's Western and Federation Internationale de Football Association pressure that led to this; it's [Iranian] women's pressure on the worldwide community that made it possible", she said.

"There can be no stopping or turning back now".

"I would like to thank both the Iran FA, the AFC and the authorities involved for their efforts and cooperation".

"FIFA will continue to work closely with them, to help ensure that the right thing is done, which is to allow all fans, irrespective of gender, to have the chance to go to the stadiums and enjoy a game of football".

"It was really a very big wish".

"FIFA fully supports them and will stand by them".

Iranian women cheer during the World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C qualification football match between Iran and Cambodia at the Azadi stadium in the capital Tehran on October 10, 2019.

The group Open Stadiums has long campaigned for women's right to watch games in Iran's arenas.

Iranian female football fans may have a lot to fight for yet.

In June, FIFA President Gianni Infantino wrote to the FFIRI to seek assurances that women would be allowed to attend 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. One of the 3,500 women to have secured a ticket was Raha Poorbakhsh, a football journalist.

For some 40 years, women have been largely banned from attending soccer matches at Iran's stadiums.



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