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Iranian women attend first football game in 40 years

 Iranian women attend first football game in 40 years
Iranian women attend their team's World Cup qualifier against Cambodia at the Azadi stadium in Tehran. (Reuters)

Tehran - Fifa president Gianni Infantino has urged Iranian authorities to open up stadiums to women for all games, not just World Cup qualifiers



By Reuters

Published: Thu 10 Oct 2019, 11:12 PM

Last updated: Fri 11 Oct 2019, 1:15 AM

Iranian women entered the country's national stadium in Tehran on Thursday after being able to purchase tickets for a national team game for the first time in 40 years.
Women have been banned from watching men's games since shortly after the 1979 revolution with only a few exceptions made for small groups on rare occasions.
But under pressure from world governing body Fifa and women's rights campaigners, Iranian authorities earmarked around 3,000 tickets for them to Thursday's World Cup Asian qualifier against Cambodia in the 78,000 capacity Azadi Stadium.
The tickets are for a special women's only section of the stadium, a decision that has been criticised by some campaigners who would prefer women to be able to attend with their male family members.
Footage posted on social media showed women arriving at the stadium more than two hours before the scheduled kick-off time.
Fifa stepped up pressure on Iran to meet commitments allowing women to attend World Cup qualifiers following the death last month of Sahar Khodayari, who set herself on fire to protest against her arrest for trying to get into a match.
Dubbed "Blue Girl" online for her favourite team Esteghlal's colours, Khodayari had feared being jailed for six months for trying to enter a stadium dressed as a man.
Meanwhile, Fifa president Gianni Infantino has urged Iranian authorities to open up stadiums to women for all games, not just World Cup qualifiers.


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