Iranian women see football match at last


This 10 October 2019 video, in the Farsi language, is about the round 2 football 2022 World Cup qualification match in Tehran, between Iran and Cambodia: goals and highlights.

This 10 October 2019 video says about itself:

Iranian sports journalist Raha Purbakhsh says she ‘can’t believe’ she will be among the thousands of women to freely enter a football stadium for the first time in decades to watch Iran’s 2022 World Cup qualifier against Cambodia at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium. World football’s governing body FIFA last month ordered Iran to allow women access to stadiums without restrictions and in numbers determined by demand for tickets.

Iranian women football fans, ANP photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Tears of happiness by women in Iranian stadium

Around four thousand women have visited Iran’s international match against Cambodia in Tehran. For the first time in almost 40 years, women were in the stands during a football match in Iran.

Not entirely correct: on 10 November 2018, in the same Azadi stadium, hundreds of women fans attended the final of the Asian Champions League. It was between Iranian Persepolis and Japanese Kashima Antlers club teams. In October 2018, some hundred women were allowed to attend the friendly match of the Iranian national football team against Bolivia. So, this is the first time that there were so many women at a male national team match.

More than four hours before the kick-off, the first female fans were already present in the Azadi stadium. Some cried with happiness.

The admission of women is seen as a victory in the fight against strict [establishment] Islamic rules and against discrimination against women.

Iranian female fans at the Iran-Cambodia match, ANP photo

The world football association FIFA pressured the Iranian authorities to lift the ban on women in stadiums. Otherwise Iran might be excluded from participating in the 2022 World Cup.

The tragic death of Sahar Khodayari also played an important role. The 29-year-old Iranian set herself on fire in early September, after she was charged with having attended a match disguised as a man. A few days later Khodayari died. …

“The authorities are taking half-hearted steps to tackle discrimination against women who want to watch football. Instead, the Iranian authorities must lift all restrictions on women,” said Amnesty International director Philip Luther.

The World Cup qualifying match ended in a 14-0 win for Iran, much to the delight of the female supporters present.

Iranian women fans in the stadium, photo by NOS / Marcel van der Steen

Iranian women supporters at Iran, Cambodia, photo by NOS / Marcel van der Steen

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