Thursday, 10 October 2019

Women attend first match in decades in Iran

Iranian women cheer during the World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C qualification football match between Iran and Cambodia at the Azadi stadium in the capital Tehran on 10 October, 2019.

Iranian women have attended a World Cup qualifier in Tehran after being freely allowed to enter a stadium for a men's match for the first time in decades.

Women have effectively been banned from stadiums when men are playing since just after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The change followed the death of a fan who had set herself alight after being arrested for trying to attend a match.

But Amnesty International described the move on Thursday as a "cynical publicity stunt".

The human rights organisation said there were only a "token number" of tickets for female fans as it called for all restrictions on female attendance to be lifted.

More than 3,500 women bought tickets to Thursday's World Cup qualifier against Cambodia, where they were granted access to a special women's-only section of the Azadi Stadium. The stadium has a capacity of about 78,000.

The issue of gender discrimination in Iranian football came to global prominence last month when Sahar Khodayari, known as "blue girl" because of the team she supported, set fire to herself outside court while awaiting trial for trying to attend a match disguised as a man. The 29-year-old died a week later.

Saudi Arabia last year allowed women for the first time to attend a football match as part of an easing of strict rules on gender separation by the ultra-conservative Muslim country.










https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-50002658

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