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.