Iran women to attend football match freely for first time in decades

Iranian women allowed to watch live football match

Iranian women allowed to watch live football match

Iran has barred women from spectating at games on the back of clerics claiming they should be protected from the masculine atmosphere and sight of males in shorts.

Federation Internationale de Football Association ordered Iran to end its ban on letting women enter stadiums during an inspection visit last month. Such disguises are prevalent in Iran, as women have largely been banned from attending matches since shortly after the country's 1979 Islamic revolution.

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.

Iranian sports journalist Raha Purbakhsh shows off her ticket to attend a World Cup qualifier in front of Azadi Stadium in Tehran on Tuesday.

The most predominant batch sold out in no longer as a lot as an hour, and additional seats were also snapped up in transient uncover, whine media said.

This is the first time in the 40-year history of the Islamic Republic that Iranian women have been able to purchase tickets for a men's football match - although there have been a couple of rare exceptions.

However, they will be allowed to sit in stands that will be segregated from men.

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"I still can't believe this is going to happen because after all these years of working in this field, watching everything on television, now I can experience everything in person", she told AFP.

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

Iranian Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs Hossein-Ali Amiri said last month that some of the country's stadiums were being prepared for the entry of women, by adding separate gates and seating.

And Khodayari's father told Mehr news agency that she did not "sacrifice" herself for any cause. "The worldwide community, including world football's governing body, FIFA, must also ensure that woman are permitted to attend all matches". The organization's leader, who goes by the pseudonym Sara, told Reuters that numerous women who bought tickets to Thursday's match aren't actually soccer fans.

But Iran denied its decision to allow women into Thursday's match was a result of "foreign pressure".

More than 40 women have been arrested for attempting to enter football stadiums over the past two years, Amnesty said.

But the ultra-conservative Keyhan daily said women were more concerned about economic issues.

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