Women allowed into football stadium in Iran

Iranian women allowed to watch live football match

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

The change comes after an Iranian woman set herself on fire and died last month, as she faced charges arising from her trying to enter the stadium to watch a match.

"Instead of taking half-hearted steps to address their discriminatory treatment of women who want to watch football, the Iranian authorities should lift all restrictions on women attending football matches, including domestic league games, across the country", he said.

Last month, Federation Internationale de Football Association finally ordered Iran to allow women access to stadiums without any restrictions and in numbers determined by demand for tickets. Thousands of women have now bought tickets to watch the 2022 World Cup Qualifier against Cambodia.

Under global pressure since Khodayari's death, the authorities have allowed a quota of tickets to be sold to women for tomorrow's game, though only four sections - totalling around 3,500 seats - of the 78,000-capacity Azadi Stadium have been allocated to women spectators.

Iranian women will officially be able to enter and watch a men's soccer match for the first time in decades on Thursday.

Women were permitted to buy about 3,500 tickets to watch a World Cup qualifier between the men's teams of Iran and Cambodia.

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The bumpy road Iranian women have travelled in order to gain free access to stadiums has not been without tragedy.

One of the 3,500 women to have secured a ticket was Raha Poorbakhsh, a football journalist. She told news service AFP that she last stepped into Azadi stadium about 25 years ago with her father.

At first, just two blocks of the stadium went on sale to women via the internet, then quickly, due to the brisk sales, another two blocks were opened up for them.

He added that, "the worldwide community, including world football's governing body FIFA, must also ensure that women are permitted to attend all matches freely and without discrimination".

The reformist camp has welcomed the decision to allow women into Thursday's match, while conservatives have argued that football is not a priority for women. 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.

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

"There are many girls still single and at home, afraid of the cost of marriage".

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