Iranian Women Can Now Watch World Cup Qualifier, First Time Since 1979

Iranian women breaking rules to watch Iran vs Spain via TV broadcast in 2018.

Iranian female fans will be allowed entry into the stadium to watch men’s football World Cup qualifying match coming up in October in the Islamic Republic.

The official IRNA news agency quoted a Sports Ministry official as saying on Sunday, following heightened pressure from FIFA.

Though foreign women have had limited access to matches in Iran, Iranian women, however, were banned from the stadium when male teams are playing, since the Islamic revolution in 1979.

FIFA wrote to the Iranian Football Federation in June, asking it to provide a timeline for women to be able to buy tickets for the qualifiers, or face consequences.

“Women can go to Tehran’s Azadi stadium to watch the match between Iran’s national team and Cambodia in October, for the Qatar World Cup qualifier,” IRNA quoted deputy Sports Minister Jamshid Taghizadeh as saying.

The AFC, the Asian football governing body, which has 47 members including Iran, said on Tuesday it was working to help world soccer governing body FIFA, find an “amicable solution” that would allow Iranian female fans to attend future games in Iran.

“There is no legal ban for women to watch football matches in the stadium. The activation of the infrastructure is underway,” Taghizadeh said.

Iranian female fans had long campaigned to be allowed to watch men’s soccer, and occasionally a limited number of women had been allowed into the stadium.

In June, some women were detained by security forces when they went to the Azadi Stadium for a friendly match against Syria.

Last year, some women risked arrest by donning fake beards and wigs to attend a major game in the stadium.

Their pictures and videos were posted on social media.

The 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar.

NAN

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