Iranian women attend historic football match

World Today

Iranian women cheer during a soccer match between their national team and Cambodia in the 2022 World Cup qualifier at the Azadi (Freedom) Stadium in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Iranian women were freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire after hearing she could face prison time for sneaking into an Iranian soccer match disguised as a man. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

A big milestone for Iranian women. They made history by freely attending a men’s football match.

Over 3,000 women cheering on Iran’s national team as it shut out Cambodia in a World Cup qualifier 14-0.

CGTN’s Asieh Namdar reports.

Authorities allocated only four sections for women.

Human rights groups called that a “publicity stunt” given the stadium has a capacity of 78,000. They also said many female journalists and photographers were denied press credentials.

But for many, this is a step in the right direction.

While there is no law, Iranian women have effectively been banned from stadiums when men are playing Since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The ban also extends to men’s volleyball and basketball matches.

The issue recently made headlines and triggered global outcry after a young football fan paid the ultimate price with her life.

Sahar Khodayari, known as ‘blue girl’ because of the team she supported – was arrested for trying to attend a game disguised as a man.

A week later, she set herself on fire following a court appearance.

Since then, football’s governing body FIFA has stepped up pressure on Iran to lift the ban.

FIFA said it has been assured by Iranian authorities that women will be able to attend not JUST ONE but all men’s football matches.