On Thursday, Iranian women will be able to enter a football stadium on for the first time in decades in Tehran, to watch the watch World Cup qualifier after the ban is lifted by the authorities. However, they will be allowed to sit in stands that will be segregated from men.
Women were quick to get their hands on tickets to attend Iran’s 2022 World Cup qualifier against Cambodia at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium on Thursday.
This development took place after FIFA had threatened to suspend Iran over its controversial male-only policy. The Islamic republic has barred female spectators from football and other stadiums for around 40 years, as the clerics had kept arguing that the women must be shielded from the masculine atmosphere and sight of semi-clad men.
Raha Poorbakhsh, a football journalist, is one of the 3,500 women to have secured a ticket. “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.
As being reported, the first batch sold out in under an hour, and additional seats were also snapped up in short order. According to Iran sports ministry official, the 100,000-capacity stadium – whose name means “Freedom” in Farsi – was ready to host even more women.