Historic Day For Women's Rights! Iranian Women Throng Stadium To Watch Football Match
In a victorious move for Iranian women, Iran’s blue girl’s dream of lifting the ban from women to spectate football and other sports becomes a reality even when she won’t be able to witness the momentous victory. Today, the Iranian women strode towards Tehran’s Azadi Stadium to watch Iran’s 2022 World Cup qualifier against Cambodia.
Excitement and joy as women enter #Iran’s Azadi Stadium to watch a football match. They’ve been banned from purchasing tickets for the past 38 years and have been facing arrest and prosecution for decades to win back this right. #FIFA pic.twitter.com/d1Q4ZcSg8p
— IranHumanRights.org (@ICHRI) October 10, 2019
After the directive received from the World football’s governing authority, women in Iran hustled to buy tickets for the Thursday match. The first batch of tickets was sold out within an hour and additional seats were also snapped up in around two hours, stated media reported from Iran.
A sports ministry official said the 100,000 capacity stadium, whose name means “Freedom” in Farsi was ready to host even more women.
3,500 women were able to secure their tickets to the match, one of them was Raha Poorbakhsh, a football journalist. “I still can’t believe this is going to happen because after all these years of working in this field, watching everything on television, now I can experience everything in person,” she told AFP.
Poorbakhsh also raised concerns over women travelling all the way from South Iran in the hope to secure tickets in black as many were denied due to the exorbitant demand.
The decision came days after Sahar Khodiyari immolated herself after she was denied access to the football stadium under the pretext that Muslim women should not watch semi-clad men playing as it would be a sin.
After her act, FIFA threatened to suspend Iran over its biased male-only policy that had been in practice since the Islamic Revolution happened in 1979. The decision came for the first time in decades as Iran had earlier disallowed women from football and other sports stadium once they hit puberty, for around 40 years.
While clerics in Iran remained adamant over their stance on women be shielded from the masculine atmosphere and sight of semi-clad men, Iran has made sure to segregate women from men and women’s actions be watched over by 150 female police officers, according to Fars news agency.