Female Iran national football team fans set to be allowed to watch World Cup qualifier, says sports ministry official

Iran has barred Iranian women spectators at matches since the 1979 Islamic revolution, with clerics arguing they must be protected from the masculine atmosphere and sight of semi-clad men

Agence France-Presse August 25, 2019 16:45:48 IST
Female Iran national football team fans set to be allowed to watch World Cup qualifier, says sports ministry official
  • Women fans will be allowed into the stadium for Iran's next football World Cup qualifier in October, a sports ministry official said Sunday, ahead of a deadline to allow their attendance

  • An official at the sports ministry said on Sunday that women would be able to watch Team Melli — as the national team are known — at their next home game in Tehran's Azadi stadium

  • Iran has barred Iranian women spectators at matches since the 1979 Islamic revolution, with clerics arguing they must be protected from the masculine atmosphere and sight of semi-clad men

Women fans will be allowed into the stadium for Iran's next football World Cup qualifier in October, a sports ministry official said Sunday, ahead of a deadline to allow their attendance.

Female Iran national football team fans set to be allowed to watch World Cup qualifier says sports ministry official

Women are not allowed to watch matches in Iran, but thousands turned up to cheer for their nation at the World Cup in Russia. Reuters

FIFA has been stepping up pressure on Iran to ensure women are allowed to attend qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, reportedly giving it until Saturday to comply or else face consequences.

An official at the sports ministry said on Sunday that women would be able to watch Team Melli — as the national team are known — at their next home game in Tehran's Azadi stadium.

"Women can go to the Azadi stadium on 10 October, 2019 to watch the match between the Iranian national team and Cambodia for the Qatar World Cup qualifier," said Jamshid Taghizadeh, the sports ministry's deputy for legal and provincial affairs.

"There is no legal ban (on the presence of women in stadiums] and we must activate the infrastructure, which is underway," he said, quoted by state news agency IRNA.

"Our view on women, at all levels, is to prepare the necessary conditions for women's success."

Iran has barred Iranian women spectators at matches since the 1979 Islamic revolution, with clerics arguing they must be protected from the masculine atmosphere and sight of semi-clad men.

The authorities have allowed foreign women to go to matches in the country in the past.

And while a small number of Iranian women have attended select international matches on previous occasions, others have faced prosecution for entering stadiums at other times.

Four women were recently detained at Azadi stadium before being released, according to a report by the semi-official ISNA news agency on 18 August.

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