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Thursday, June 21, 2018

World Cup 2018: Women finally allowed in Iranian football stadium


World Cup 2018: Women finally allowed in Iranian football stadium







To the sound of horns, chanting and
laughing, women were finally allowed inside football stadiums in Iran on
Wednesday, fulfilling lifelong dreams of watching a game.




The
last time women were able to attend a football match in Iran was in
1979, but on Wednesday female fans entered the Azadi stadium in Tehran
to watch their team play Spain in the 2018 World Cup.



Following
the match the Azadi stadium said "there will be no problem" for women
hoping to watch a screening of Iran's upcoming match, against Portugal
on Monday.



Selfies taken by women inside the grounds circulated
on social media and the Iranian football team tweeted a photo of a young
woman in the stands holding the national flag.



Five women had previously been inside the Azadi stadium, in May - but they were wearing beards and wigs to disguise themselves as men.



Although there is no official ban on women entering sports venues in the conservative country, the religious establishment has refused to relax restrictions and police usually prevent women attending.



Women have previously been punished for attending matches, including in March when 35 women were detained for trying to attend a football game.



After
it was announced on Wednesday morning that women and families could
watch the Iran-Spain match, women queued outside the Azadi stadium with
their tickets. But they found that security forces were blocking the
entrance claiming that the plan had been cancelled due to "infrastructure issues".



Fans started to chant in protest and some staged a sit-in, saying they would not leave until they were allowed in.






World Cup 2018: Women finally allowed in Iranian football stadium



Videos
of the protests circulated on social media and hashtag
#Azadi_cancellation trended on Twitter, with nearly 2,000 posts in an
hour.



 The monumental moment didn't escape the attention of Spain's captain
Sergio Ramos. Although his team won the match, he tweeted that the
victory belonged to Iranian women.



In Russia, Iranian women who travelled to watch the game live also celebrated attending their first match.



Although
women are expected to be able to attend further World Cup screenings
next week, many believe it less likely that permission will be extended
for the upcoming Iranian Premier League.

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