It has been 40 years, women in Iran have been restricted and taken the freedom away from them to enjoy sports sitting in a stadium that has been imposed by the government.
Many incidents have taken place where women who loved football have attempted to burn themselves alive in fear of being caught and get jailed. Clerics in Iran are of the view that women need to be segregated and kept away from the manly environment in order to not be exposed and commit a sin.
FIFA the international governing body for football ensures that this year women will be allowed to be in the stadiums to see the match as it unfolds inside the stadium and has put pressure on Iran to provide equal opportunity to both men and women.
It practically ordered the Iranian government to allow women in the stadiums and asked them to provide the number of tickets sold to women.
Women rushed to get tickets to see Iran’s World Cup 2020 qualifying round versus Cambodia at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran on Thursday. The first set of tickets was sold out in less than an hour and additional tickets were purchased within minutes.
“The 100,000 capacity stadium whose name means Freedom in Farsi is ready to host even more women,” says a sports ministry official. Citizens in Tehran have spoken in support of the decision and look forward to the weakening of such taboos in the country.
A girl who told her name as Hasti said that “ she wanted to be as free as men are, she would like to go wherever she wants to whenever she wants to sit side by side without any limitations just like it happens in other countries”
Last year Sahar Khodayari had been detained because she tried to attend a match dressed as a boy. She is named a blue girl because of the club she supports. Sahar was a huge football fan and she lighted herself on fire outside a court in the fear of being jailed after trying to attend a match.
Her death caused outrage in people and many fans wanted FIFA to ban Iran from playing and they also wanted to boycott from its matches.
The judiciary terminated the statements that she had been told that she would be jailed for six months saying that they are fabricated.
The ban on women to attend a match in a stadium has not been in writings, any proper law on this ban isn’t is not written but this law is implemented strictly.
This has become a troublesome situation in Iran as conservatives and religious people argue that football has no significance for women while the reformist camps have warmly accepted the outcome of allowing women into the stadiums.