Sport: Iran women attend FIFA soccer game for first time in decades - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Sport Iran women attend FIFA soccer game for first time in decades

04:35  11 october  2019
04:35  11 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

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It marked the first time in decades women were allowed to attend an official FIFA match in the country. Women were allowed to attend the 2022 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

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Flag-draped Iranian women watched a FIFA soccer match from inside a Tehran stadium Thursday, the first time they’ve Iran even barred a woman from hold a sign for the country when it attends its first Summer Olympics in 1986 in South Korea. A group of Irish women

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — They had to sit well apart from the men, and the stadium was practically empty, but thousands of Iranian women in merry jester hats and face paint blew horns and cheered Thursday at the first FIFA soccer match they were allowed to freely attend in decades.

Iranian nurse Zahra Pashaei, center, cheers during an Iran and Cambodia 2022 World Cup qualifier soccer match at the Azadi (Freedom) Stadium, in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire after hearing she could face prison time for sneaking into an Iranian soccer match disguised as a man. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) © Provided by The Associated Press Iranian nurse Zahra Pashaei, center, cheers during an Iran and Cambodia 2022 World Cup qualifier soccer match at the Azadi (Freedom) Stadium, in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire after hearing she could face prison time for sneaking into an Iranian soccer match disguised as a man. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

In what many considered a victory in a decades-long fight by women in Iran to attend sporting events, they wrapped themselves in the country's vibrant red, green and white colors and watched with excitement as Iran thrashed Cambodia 14-0 in a 2022 World Cup qualifier at Tehran's Azadi, or Freedom, Stadium.

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For the first time in almost four decades , women will be allowed to buy tickets and attend a match. The game on Thursday between Iran and Cambodia Within weeks, the president of FIFA , soccer ’s global governing body, said the Iranian authorities had assured him that women would be allowed to

Authorities announced they will allow women to attend only international football matches. Women have been banned from many sporting events in The pressure from FIFA and Iran ’s soccer -loving public has grown since September, when an Iranian woman detained for dressing as a man to sneak

Iranian women wear their country's flag on their shoulders at the Azadi Stadium for the 2022 World Cup qualifier soccer match between Iran and Cambodia, in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire after hearing she could face prison time for sneaking into an Iranian soccer match disguised as a man. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) © Provided by The Associated Press Iranian women wear their country's flag on their shoulders at the Azadi Stadium for the 2022 World Cup qualifier soccer match between Iran and Cambodia, in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire after hearing she could face prison time for sneaking into an Iranian soccer match disguised as a man. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

"We are so happy that finally we got the chance to go to the stadium. It's an extraordinary feeling," said Zahra Pashaei, a 29-year-old nurse who has only known soccer games from television. "At least for me, 22 or 23 years of longing and regret lies behind this."

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Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades . The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on That pressure has grown both with FIFA and Iran ’s soccer -loving public since September, when an Iranian woman detained for dressing as a man to

Iranian Women Allowed at FIFA Soccer Match for First Time in Decades . The 2022 World Cup qualifier between the Iranian national team and Cambodia at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium marks a decades -long push by Iranian women to be able to watch soccer matches, something hard-liners in

As one woman shouted from a passing minibus before the match: "We are here finally!"

So far, Iran's hard-line Islamic theocracy is not willing to go as far some women would like. Authorities announced they will allow women to attend only international soccer matches.

Women have been banned from many sporting events in Iran since 1981, during the early years of the country's Islamic Revolution. Iran is the world's last nation to bar women from soccer matches. Saudi Arabia recently began letting women see games.

Iranian women cheer during a soccer match between their national team and Cambodia in the 2022 World Cup qualifier at the Azadi (Freedom) Stadium in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire after hearing she could face prison time for sneaking into an Iranian soccer match disguised as a man. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) © Provided by The Associated Press Iranian women cheer during a soccer match between their national team and Cambodia in the 2022 World Cup qualifier at the Azadi (Freedom) Stadium in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire after hearing she could face prison time for sneaking into an Iranian soccer match disguised as a man. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

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Iranian women cheer during a soccer match between their national team and Cambodia in the 2022 World Cup qualifier at the Azadi (Freedom) Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades . The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire

World football ’s governing body FIFA ordered Iran last month to allow women access to stadiums without restriction and in numbers determined by The first batch sold out in less than an hour, and additional seats were also snapped up in short order, state media said. The sports ministry said the

Under pressure from FIFA, Iran let a carefully controlled number of women into the stadium, allocating them 4,000 tickets in a venue that seats about 80,000 people, and arranged for 150 female security personnel in black chadors to watch them. They sat at least 200 meters (yards) from the few thousand men at the match.

Iranian state television, which long has been controlled by hard-liners, aired footage of women cheering, and commentators even acknowledged their presence.

"There can be no stopping or turning back now," FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a statement. "History teaches us that progress comes in stages, and this is just the beginning of a journey."

Iranian women cheer as they arrive to the Azadi Stadium to watch the 2022 World Cup qualifier soccer match between Iran and Cambodia, in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. They had been banned since 1981. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) © Provided by The Associated Press Iranian women cheer as they arrive to the Azadi Stadium to watch the 2022 World Cup qualifier soccer match between Iran and Cambodia, in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. They had been banned since 1981. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iran faced a potential ban from FIFA international matches if it didn't allow women into the game. The pressure from FIFA and Iran's soccer-loving public has grown since September, when an Iranian woman detained for dressing as a man to sneak into a match set herself on fire and died upon learning she could get six months in prison.

Women prepare to enter a football stadium in Iran freely for the first time - with tickets selling out within MINUTES after FIFA ordered Tehran to end female ban

  Women prepare to enter a football stadium in Iran freely for the first time - with tickets selling out within MINUTES after FIFA ordered Tehran to end female ban Tehran has lifted a ban on female supporters attending football matches and thousands of Iranian women snapped up the 3,500 tickets that were available in less than an hour.The change in ruling comes after FIFA demanded women be able to attend football matches or for Iran to face suspension from the association.

Iranian women were allowed to watch the nation's men’s soccer team play for the first time in nearly 40 years on Thursday, after the Following Khodayari’s death, Iranian authorities assured FIFA that women would be allowed to attend upcoming international matches, beginning with the game against

Tehran (AFP) — Iranian women fans are free to enter a football stadium Thursday for the first time in decades , after FIFA threatened to suspend the Islamic republic over its controversial male-only policy. Iran has barred female spectators from football and other stadiums for around 40 years, with clerics

The self-immolation of 29-year-old Sahar Khodayari, who became known as the "Blue Girl" for her love of the Iranian team Esteghlal, whose uniforms are blue, shocked Iranian officials and the public.

Iranian women cheer as they hold a huge Iranian flag during a soccer match between their national team and Cambodia in the 2022 World Cup qualifier at the Azadi (Freedom) Stadium in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire after hearing she could face prison time for sneaking into an Iranian soccer match disguised as a man. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) © Provided by The Associated Press Iranian women cheer as they hold a huge Iranian flag during a soccer match between their national team and Cambodia in the 2022 World Cup qualifier at the Azadi (Freedom) Stadium in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire after hearing she could face prison time for sneaking into an Iranian soccer match disguised as a man. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

At the match Thursday, a reporter with Iran's state-run IRNA news agency posted a video online of chador-wearing officers trying to grab a woman she said had a sign in Khodayari's honor. The crowd could be heard chanting, "Let her go!" The reporter wrote on Twitter that the woman slipped away from officers and ran off.

Iranian women arrive to the Azadi (Freedom) Stadium to watch the 2022 World Cup qualifier soccer match between Iran and Cambodia, in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire after hearing she could face prison time for sneaking into an Iranian soccer match disguised as a man. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) © Provided by The Associated Press Iranian women arrive to the Azadi (Freedom) Stadium to watch the 2022 World Cup qualifier soccer match between Iran and Cambodia, in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire after hearing she could face prison time for sneaking into an Iranian soccer match disguised as a man. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Hard-liners and traditional Shiite clerics, citing their interpretation of Islamic law, believe in segregating men and women at public events, as well as keeping women out of men's sporting events.

Women prepare to enter a football stadium in Iran freely for the first time - with tickets selling out within MINUTES after FIFA ordered Tehran to end female ban

  Women prepare to enter a football stadium in Iran freely for the first time - with tickets selling out within MINUTES after FIFA ordered Tehran to end female ban Tehran has lifted a ban on female supporters attending football matches and thousands of Iranian women snapped up the 3,500 tickets that were available in less than an hour.The change in ruling comes after FIFA demanded women be able to attend football matches or for Iran to face suspension from the association.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian women have just watched a FIFA soccer match kickoff after being freely allowed into a stadium for the first time in decades . The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire after hearing she could face prison time for sneaking into an Iranian

Flag-draped Iranian women watched a FIFA soccer match from inside a Tehran stadium Thursday, the first time they've been freely allowed into a The 2022 World Cup qualifier between Team Melli and Cambodia at Tehran's Azadi Stadium marks a decades -long push by Iranian women to be able

The effort to allow women back into stadiums has gone through fits and starts.

In 2006, then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he wanted women to attend matches to "improve soccer-watching manners and promote a healthy atmosphere." However, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all matters of state, opposed the decision.

Then, last year, Iranian authorities allowed a select group of women into Azadi Stadium by invitation only to watch the Asian Champion League final.

Infantino said that "FIFA now looks more than ever toward a future when ALL girls and women wishing to attend football matches in Iran will be free to do so, and in a safe environment."

In this Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 photo, Iranian nurse Zahra Pashaei inspects national soccer team kit uniforms a day prior to attend Iran's FIFA World Cup qualifier against Cambodia, in a sport shop in downtown Tehran, Iran. Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire after hearing she could face prison time for sneaking into an Iranian soccer match disguised as a man. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) © Provided by The Associated Press In this Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 photo, Iranian nurse Zahra Pashaei inspects national soccer team kit uniforms a day prior to attend Iran's FIFA World Cup qualifier against Cambodia, in a sport shop in downtown Tehran, Iran. Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire after hearing she could face prison time for sneaking into an Iranian soccer match disguised as a man. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Activist groups outside of Iran remain suspicious of Tehran.

Amnesty International called the latest decision "a cynical publicity stunt by the authorities intended to whitewash their image."

"Instead of taking half-hearted steps to address their discriminatory treatment of women who want to watch football, the Iranian authorities should lift all restrictions on women attending football matches, including domestic league games, across the country," said Philip Luther, Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa research and advocacy director.

Iran lifts 40-year ban on women entering football stadiums

  Iran lifts 40-year ban on women entering football stadiums Iranian women will be allowed to enter a football stadium this week for the first time in nearly 40 years after pressure from soccer’s governing body FIFA forced Iran to lift its male-only policy, according to FIFA and state-run media.FIFA ordered Iran to end its ban on letting women enter stadiums during an inspection visit last month. The organization said the ban breaches international soccer statutes prohibiting discrimination.

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

Iran women get first football tickets in 40 years. FIFA stepped up pressure on Iran to meet commitments allowing women to attend World Cup qualifiers FIFA President Gianni Infantino has urged Iranian authorities to open up stadiums to women for all games , not just World Cup qualifiers.

Female police officers work at the Azadi (Freedom) Stadium during a soccer match between Iran and Cambodia in the 2022 World Cup qualifier in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire after hearing she could face prison time for sneaking into an Iranian soccer match disguised as a man. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) © Provided by The Associated Press Female police officers work at the Azadi (Freedom) Stadium during a soccer match between Iran and Cambodia in the 2022 World Cup qualifier in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire after hearing she could face prison time for sneaking into an Iranian soccer match disguised as a man. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iranian women watch football from the stands for first time in decades

  Iranian women watch football from the stands for first time in decades Thousands of Iranian women have been allowed to attend a football match in their country for the first time in decades. The World Cup qualifier against Cambodia was attended by women who had previously only been able to watch their team in person overseas or on television.The women were allocated only 4,000 tickets at Tehran's Azadi Stadium, which holds around 80,000 people.They sat at least 200 metres from the small crowd of men attending at the match, watched by 150 female security guards in black chadors.

AFP / ATTA KENARE Iranian women freely attend a football match in their ultra-conservative While it is not the first time women have attended football matches in Iran , it is the Even for Thursday's match, many women who were unable to get tickets in time for the game were left disappointed.

Still, many in Iran embraced the move, like shopkeeper Amir Ali Bagheri, who sold Pashaei a Team Melli jersey ahead of the match.

Women "are so excited they are going to the stadium," he said. "God willing, there will be freedom sooner so that they can attend all matches, not just the national team matches. That will be much better."

An Iranian woman waves her country's flag as she arrives at the Azadi Stadium to watch the 2022 World Cup qualifier soccer match between Iran and Cambodia, in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Iranian women are freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. They had been banned since 1981. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) © Provided by The Associated Press An Iranian woman waves her country's flag as she arrives at the Azadi Stadium to watch the 2022 World Cup qualifier soccer match between Iran and Cambodia, in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Iranian women are freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. They had been banned since 1981. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

After the match, Pashaei said she hoped authorities would open up more matches to women so she could attend them with her family.

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"The 'Blue Girl' and her stories did help. Of course, efforts by women activists and feminists were very effective," she said. "We are happy anyway and hope this will continue, not just in national team matches."

Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.

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Iranian women watch football from the stands for first time in decades .
Thousands of Iranian women have been allowed to attend a football match in their country for the first time in decades. The World Cup qualifier against Cambodia was attended by women who had previously only been able to watch their team in person overseas or on television.The women were allocated only 4,000 tickets at Tehran's Azadi Stadium, which holds around 80,000 people.They sat at least 200 metres from the small crowd of men attending at the match, watched by 150 female security guards in black chadors.

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