•   
  •   

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

FIFA reveals bizarre reason Egypt's Salah votes didn't count in The Best awards

  FIFA reveals bizarre reason Egypt's Salah votes didn't count in The Best awards The Liverpool star had been left upset after FIFA's voting list was released without his country's selections, but the reason has now been clarifiedLiverpool star Salah did not finish in the top three of the ballot, with his nominations from Egypt's captain and coach not included.

 (Video by Evening Standard)

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.

The Changing Rhythm of the 40-Year Saudi-Iran Rivalry

  The Changing Rhythm of the 40-Year Saudi-Iran Rivalry The killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi a year ago is part of the larger context of the battle for dominance in the Middle East.Though Khashoggi had written about how unbearably oppressive his country had become since the rise of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which was the reason he had gone into exile, the veteran Saudi journalist and incisive observer had not appreciated the extent and depth of those darker shifts—and so he walked into the death trap laid for him inside the Saudi diplomatic mission.

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."

Klopp relieved after 'important lesson'

  Klopp relieved after 'important lesson' Jurgen Klopp admits his Liverpool side were taught an "important lesson" after RB Salzburg were beaten 4-3 at Anfield. The Reds recovered from throwing away a three-goal lead against Salzburg as Mohamed Salah's 69th-minute strike earned the Champions League titleholders a chaotic victory on Wednesday.Trailing 3-0 after 36 minutes following strikes by Sadio Mane, Andrew Robertson and Salah, Salzburg stunned the Premier League leaders by scoring three unanswered goals in 21 wild minutes either side of half-time.

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)

Benfica coach Lage takes blame for Zenit defeat

  Benfica coach Lage takes blame for Zenit defeat The way Benfica conceded three goals against Zenit left coach Bruno Lage to reflect on "shattered" Champions League aspirations.After losing 2-1 at home to RB Leipzig in their Group G opener, Benfica committed a series of defensive errors in a one-sided game at Saint Petersburg Stadium, where Raul de Tomas' consolation strike came far too late to give his side any hope.

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.

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.

David Tennant's wife Georgia Moffett reveals they have welcomed their FIFTH child as she shares cheeky Good Omens post

  David Tennant's wife Georgia Moffett reveals they have welcomed their FIFTH child as she shares cheeky Good Omens post Georgia, 34, uploaded a picture of her husband, 48, leaving hospital with their newborn, shared side by side with a picture of David's co-star, Michael Sheen, who welcomed his daughter last month.    She captioned the image: ‘An Angel, a Demon and a couple of babies. ‘What could possibly go wrong?’  © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Baby number five: David Tennant and his wife have welcomed their fifth child.

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.

Geordie Shore's Aaron Chalmers expecting first child with girlfriend as he calls it the 'best surprise'

  Geordie Shore's Aaron Chalmers expecting first child with girlfriend as he calls it the 'best surprise' Geordie Shore star Aaron Chalmers is expecting his first child with his girlfriend Talia Oatway.The 32 year old called the news that he is to become a dad for the first time the “best surprise.

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)

Comment: Why the future should be female

  Comment: Why the future should be female Our writer says it's time for women to reject inferior status, demand equality, and unapologetically revel in their ambition and success.This story is part of our November 2019 special issue of National Geographic magazine, “Women: A Century of Change.

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.

Gallery: 100 iconic photos that capture 100 years of world history (Stacker)

a group of people sitting in front of a crowd: It’s been said that a “picture is worth a thousand words,” and throughout history, the adage has proven true. Photographers have documented the major events of our time, from wars and protest marches to space landings, historic speeches, scientific discoveries, sporting events, and other unforgettable moments.  Not only have these photographs captured our attention visually, they’ve prompted action at times—even occasionally changing the course of history. During the 1960s, for example, images of children being sprayed with fire hoses brought attention to the Civil Rights movement. During the 1970s, a photograph of a college student screaming in Ohio turned America’s eyes towards the conflict in Cambodia and police brutality at home. A similar phenomenon occurred during the Vietnam War when, unlike the pre-screened shots permitted to be published during World War II, the images that came home were uncensored and graphic. These raw photos fueled general anti-war activism and may have even prompted John F. Kennedy to take action.   It hasn’t all been doom and gloom, either. Photographs have captured our most joyous events and proudest achievements, from famous entertainers, athletes, movie stars, dancers, and others. Stacker gathered the most iconic images from the past 100 years, beginning in 1918 and leading up to present day. Scroll on to see history told in 100 photographs.

"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.

MSN UK is committed to Empowering the Planet and taking urgent action to protect our environment. We’re supporting Friends of the Earth to help solve the climate crisis, please give generously here or find out more about our campaign here.

Comment: Why the future should be female .
Our writer says it's time for women to reject inferior status, demand equality, and unapologetically revel in their ambition and success.This story is part of our November 2019 special issue of National Geographic magazine, “Women: A Century of Change.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 3
This is interesting!