Iranian women can watch today’s football match
Azadi Stadium in Tehran. Photo: Wikipedia
25.06.2018By Luca Arfini
Yesterday, Nasser Mahmudifard, the manager of Azadi stadium in Tehran, confirmed that Iranian women will be allowed to attend the country's World Cup match against Portugal later today.
It is the second time in 39 years that Iranian women have had the chance to attend a public viewing of a football game. Indeed, since after the 1979 Islamic revolution, they have been banned from entering Iranian stadiums.
Until last week, when the intervention from Iranian interior minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli opened the gates to women, allowing them to watch the match of Iran against Spain.
“Last night families, women, men, children and youngsters watched our national team’s good match next to each other inside Azadi Stadium. The joy and excitement of watching a game inside a sports arena is something else. I thank all who made this happen. In the future we will witness the continuation of this trend, God willing,” tweeted Masoumeh Ebtekar, Iran’s Vice President for Women and Family Affairs.
Even though they lost against Spain with a score of 0-1, the Independent said that the atmosphere inside the stadium and in the several social media posts following up the game was joyous. From the pictures of the game Iranian women appeared to enjoy being together with families and friends to cheer for their national football team singing and waving flags.
“This is what it means to feel joy and passion together. This is what real Azadi (“Freedom”) means in the 100-000-seat stadium. This is just the beginning. We will not stop our struggle until we achieve our main goal to watch football matches (inside the stadium),” tweeted heater director “Negar.”
After many years in which Iranian women have been arrested for trying to enter in the stadiums, the general hope is expressed by the words of reporter Mahsa Jazini: “Mr. President, now that you have ordered the gates open, can’t you issue another order that they should never be closed?”