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Iran: 2,000 women banned from stadiums so they don’t see “men in sportswear”

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Iran on Wednesday (March 30th) again refused women entry to a football stadium to watch the match between their country’s national teams and Lebanon, Iranian media reported.

The match, won by the Iranian selection 2-0, took place at the Imam-Reza stadium in the city of Mashhad, in the northeast of the country. “About 2,000 Iranian women, who had bought tickets for the Iran-Lebanon match, were present in the perimeter of the Imam-Reza stadium, but were unable to enter the stadium,” the ISNA news agency said. .

“For this match, 12,500 tickets were sold, including 2,000 for women,” added the news agency. “I apologize that many people could not enter the stadium and watch the football match between the national teams of Iran and Lebanon,” Mohsen Davari, governor of Mashhad, told Iranian state television. IRIB.

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“Unfortunately, it was not possible for a large number of people outside to enter the stadium,” he added. Iranian women were allowed to attend a national team football match in January for the first time in nearly three years during the World Cup qualifiers between Iran and Iraq.

For 40 years, the Islamic republic has generally prohibited female spectators from attending football matches. The clerics, who play a major role in decision-making, argue that women should be protected from the masculine atmosphere and the sight of men in sportswear, and whose bodies are therefore partially visible.

In 2018, a supporter set herself on fire

World football’s governing body FIFA ordered Iran in September 2019 to allow women’s access to stadiums without restriction. FIFA’s 2019 directive, which threatens Iran with suspension, came after a fan died after setting herself on fire for fear of being jailed for trying to attend a match.

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In 2018, she was arrested when she tried to enter a stadium dressed as a boy. His death sparked an outcry and many called for Iran to be banned from competition. FIFA had been pushing for years for Iran to open its stadiums to women, but Tehran had, until 2019, only allowed a limited number of women to attend matches.

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