Iran: A sign of hope, women can return to the stadium after two years

Iran: A sign of hope, women can return to the stadium after two years

Photo of Iranian women at the stadium in October 2019

The last time fans were able to participate in a match of the men’s national team was on October 10, 2019

In Iran, women play a role in football, despite fears about their rights through the election of new president Ultra-Conservative Ibrahim Reyes. After a two-year ban, Iranian fans will be able to return to the stadium on October 12 to take part in the men’s national soccer team’s match against South Korea in a match valid for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Qatar. Thanks to a 4-2 victory over Jordan on penalties after a goalless draw in the first leg, the Iranian women’s football team has returned from an amazing qualification for the Asian Cup. A historic victory that allows Iranian players, with veils and long pants, to still qualify for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

In August, the new president, Raisi, took office in the Islamic Republic, a hawk next to Supreme Guide Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who chose his adviser and family minister, NCE Khazali. Hence the fear that women’s rights will be further affected. At least a sign of hope is coming from the sport.

FIFA has long called for the opening of stadiums for Iranian women for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Qatar. Iranian women have been able to compete in a match at the Azadi (Farsi) Stadium in Tehran since October 10, 2019. With over 3,500 fans backing the men’s national team in an easy victory over Cambodia (14-0). The inauguration was decided in September 2019 following the outrageous sentiment of the “blue girl” Sahar Khodayari, who was sentenced to life in prison for attempting to enter a stadium and setting himself on fire.

After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iranian women were denied access to bleachers to protect them from the harshness of men. The ban is not part of any law or regulation, but has been strictly enforced by the Iranian authorities with very few exceptions. In 2001, about 20 Irish women were allowed to qualify for the World Cup, and in 2005 a few dozen Iranians were admitted to Iran-Bahrain for the first time.

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