Monday, 14 October, 2019

Iranian women to see football freely for first time in decades

Iranian women allowed to watch live football match Iranian women to see football freely for first time in decades
Sidney Guerrero | 11 October, 2019, 10:29

Federation Internationale de Football Association had piled fresh pressure on the nation to start allowing women into matches after Sahar Khodayari, 30, set herself on fire last month after facing charges for attempting to enter a stadium.

The Islamic republic has barred female spectators from football and other stadiums for around 40 years, as the clerics had kept arguing that the women must be shielded from the masculine atmosphere and sight of semi-clad men.

Women have even entered stadiums wearing fake beards to try to circumvent the ban and last month a woman died after setting fire to herself in protest at not being allowed in a stadium.

The ban caught the world's attention last month after Sahar Khodayari, a 29-year-old activist dubbed the "Blue Girl", self-immolated for fear of being sentenced for dressing up as a man to enter a soccer stadium in Tehran.

Ladies were snappy to come by their hands on tickets to help Iran's 2022 World Cup qualifier towards Cambodia at Tehran's Azadi Stadium on Thursday.

The first batch are understood to have sold out within an hour, with more tickets immediately being put on sale.

Iranian women were recently given the go-ahead to purchase tickets and attend the upcoming World Cup 2022 qualifier match between the country's national football team and the Cambodian side at Tehran's Azadi Stadium on Thursday.

JT of City Girls Celebrates Her ‘First Day Out’ on New Song
City Girls released their debut album Period in 2018, followed by their sophomore LP G I R L C O D E later that year. According to her entry on the federal government's inmate locator, her release date is set for March 21, 2020.

The bumpy road Iranian women have travelled in order to gain free access to stadiums has not been without tragedy. She told news service AFP that she last stepped into Azadi stadium about 25 years ago with her father.

Speaking to the French news agency, several Iranians told the outlet that they supported the government's decision, with some remarking that they hope the clearance will lead to further freedoms for Iranian women.

One of the 3,500 women to have secured a ticket was Raha Poorbakhsh, a football journalist.

Following Khodayari's death, FIFA President Gianni Infantino filed a statement, urging Iranian officials to consider the matter and allow women into the stadiums.

Ahead of Qatar 2022, Federation Internationale de Football Association has pressed Iran to allow women to attend qualifiers. Many Iranian women took to social media to celebrate the move as a success in the fight against the discrimination of women in the country.

What is also unclear is how many tickets have been handed out to women who have been handpicked by the authorities.

The issue has been divisive in Iran.

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