If you’re a woman in Iran match days means heading to your local shopping mall to catch the game.
“They do not let us inside the stadium. But we were so good like this today, inside the shopping center. Men did not say anything improper at all, and we were all together, all fine, watching the match”, said one of the women whom identified herself by the name “Atiyeh”.
While they can sit alongside men and watch on a screen the ban on them entering football stadiums for men’s soccer matches has been once again thrust in to the spotlight, after the death this month of a female fan that set herself on fire in protest at her arrest for attending a match.
Dubbed “Blue Girl” after her favorite team’s colours she had tried to attend disguised as a man.
Women have campaigned on this for years and despite the death of Sahar Khodayari it is an issue they will keep fighting for.
Iran is under pressure from soccer’s governing body FIFA to change its stance, and it may be starting to work.
Iranian government spokesman, Ali Rabiei States women will be present during the upcoming game with Cambodia and their presence will increase step by step.
The move is seen as a first step towards opening national games to women.