Iranian women attends first football match in decades


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Since 1979, just after the Islamic revolution, Iranian women were effectively banned from coming to stadiums to watch men play football but a new dawn was herald by the action of one Sahar Khodayari, known as “blue girl” when she set herself on fire outside a courthouse while awaiting trial for entering a stadium to watch a male football match while disguising to be a man. The 29-year-old died a week later.

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FIFA reacting to the incident mounted pressure on the Iranian government to allow women into one football match but FIFA has said it will remain persistent in its resolve to see that it goes beyond just the one game and will stand against any form of gender discrimination in football.

“It’s not just about one match. We’re not going to turn our eyes away from this,” Fifa’s head of education and social responsibility, Joyce Cook, told BBC Sport.

“We are firm and committed that all fans have an equal right, including women, to attend matches.”


The women were made to sit in a women-only section of the stadium. Only 3500 tickets were made available to women which reportedly sold out in minutes and the women are seen creating a wonderful atmosphere in the stadium.

“We had fun for three hours. All of us laughed, some of us cried because we were so happy,” one woman posted on Twitter. “We had this experience very late in our life but I am so happy for younger girls who came to the stadium today.”

Iranian women can hope for a period of time when gender discrimination will become history.


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