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Iran Girls to attend Soccer Game Publicly for first time in Years

Thousands of European women buffs would be to attend a soccer game publicly Thursday for the first time in years, following FIFA threatened to suspend the nation over its contentious male-only policy.

The Islamic republic has barred female audiences from football and other stadiums for about 40 decades, with clerics asserting that they have to be protected from the manly setting and sight of semi-clad guys.

World soccer’s governing body FIFA ordered Iran last month to permit women to access stadiums without limitation and in amounts depending on the need for tickets.

The first batch sold out in under one hour, and extra chairs were additionally wrapped up in short order, state press said.

Among the 3,500 girls to have procured a ticket was Raha Poorbakhsh, a soccer journalist.

“I can’t believe this will occur because after all the years of working within this subject, seeing everything on tv, today I can experience everything in person,” she told AFP.

-‘Blue woman’ –

However, Poorbakhsh stated she had been aware of several different girls buffs left with tickets.

There were rare events lately when Iranian women are permitted to watch games, but this time they have been free to purchase their tickets, albeit a set variety.

Employing the hashtag #WakeUpFifa, girls have taken to social media to need more tickets.

While girls have taken up their whole allocation, just 2,500 guys have purchased electronic tickets to more than 70,000 seats available for them, ISNA news agency said.

Those fortunate enough to attend will be segregated by men and watched by 150 female officers.

“I want there to be liberty for women, such as men, to move openly and also sit side by side with no limitations, as with other nations,” said a girl who gave her name only as Hasti.

Nader Fathi, a businessman, said the existence of girls could enhance the air.

However, he said”they’ll repent it” if they’re subjected to”very bad swear words” and”bad behavior”.

The rocky street Iranian women have moved to acquire such access to stadiums hasn’t been without tragedy.

Sahar Khodayari expired last month after putting herself ablaze out a courtroom in dread of being detained for attempting to attend a game.

Dubbed”Blue Girl” due to the colors of the bar she encouraged — Esteghlal FC — she’d allegedly been arrested last year when seeking to go into a scene dressed as a boy.

The judiciary ignored reports she was told that she would be imprisoned.

Amnesty International condemned the restricted allocation of tickets for girls as a”cynical publicity stunt” after her passing.

“The Australian government should lift all limitations on women attending soccer games, such as national league matches, across the nation,” it stated.

Ahead of Qatar 2022, FIFA has pushed Iran allowing girls to attend qualifiers.

However, Iran denied its decision to permit girls into Thursday’s game as a consequence of”foreign pressure”.

“The existence of #women in stadiums is a result of the inner social needs and government’s support of these requirements,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei tweeted.

The ban on women in stadiums isn’t written into regulations or law, but it’s been rigorously enforced.

About 20 Irish girls attended a World Cup qualifier in 2001, and four decades after a couple of dozen European women saw the national group take on Bahrain.

The day afterward, the prosecutor general cautioned there would not be a repeat, stating it would”result in sin”.

In November, a select group of approximately 850 girls attended a suit between Persepolis FC and also Japan’s Kashima Antlers.

The matter remains profoundly divisive.

Reformists have welcomed the latest movement, but conservatives have come out against it.

The Donya-e-Eqtesad financial paper called it”a measure to highlight a taboo and free Iran’s soccer of this looming shadow of FIFA’s punishment”.

Nevertheless, the ultra-conservative Kayhan daily said girls were more worried about economic problems.