Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
Hundreds of Iranian women at Asian Champions League final
In the Azadi stadium in the Iranian capital Tehran, hundreds of women have attended the final of the Asian Champions League. Remarkable, because for almost forty years women had not been welcome in the stadiums.
80,000 spectators saw today the match between Persepolis and the Japanese Kashima Antlers in the Azadi stadium. In a separate section, approximately 850 seats were reserved for women.
The Iranians saw their team draw 0-0. Because they lost the away match with 2-0, they did not win the Asian championship.
In Iran there has been a ban on stadiums for women since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. The religious authorities do not want mixing Muslim women with ‘excited men’, to the displeasure of many (female) football fans.
In March, 35 women were arrested who tried to attend a match in the Iranian competition. A month later, five women, disguised as men, managed to reach the stands of the Azadi stadium and watch a match there.
The fact that women were admitted today is seen as a possible new step towards the lifting of the stadium ban. Last month some hundred women were allowed to attend the friendly match of the Iranian national football team against Bolivia.