Iranian women cheer their World Cup soccer team at Tehran’s Azadi stadium. (AFP)

October 15, 2019

Iran’s minister of sports says that ten stadiums have been readied to accept female fans, after a 38-year ban was broken on October 10, when women were allowed to enter Tehran’s Azadi Stadium to watch a soccer match.

After the 1979 revolution Iran’s new rulers banned women from attending men’s games, claiming it is against Islamic values.

FIFA, football’s world governing body began putting strong pressure on Iran in recent weeks after a female fan committed suicide. She had been threatened with jail after getting arrested for dressing as a man and trying to sneak into a stadium.

The incident in early September led to a public outcry both in Iran and abroad and FIFA threatened Iran with suspension from international matches.

Iran finally relented and began selling a few thousand tickets to women, who had to sit in special sections separate from men. FIFA welcomed the policy change as a “very positive step forward”. FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino has said “there will be no going back” for Iran.

Sports Minister Masood Soltanifar told Iranian media on Monday that stadiums in Isfahan, Tabriz, Mashhad, Ahvaz, Shiraz and other cities, with a minimum capacity of 15,000 will be ready to accept female fans.

Radio Farda

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.