On Thursday, Iran allowed fans into the stadium to watch the Iranian national football team play a friendly against Russia for the first time in over a year.
In the match, which ended in a 1-1 tie, hundreds of Iranians attended the Azad stadium, in the capital Tehran, cheering for “Tim Meli”.
In March last year, despite being allowed to buy tickets for the Asian World Cup qualifier against Lebanon, Iranian fans were denied entry to the Imam Reza stadium in the northeastern city of Mashhad due to some . Authorities called it “mismanagement” at the time.
But in January 2022, women were able to watch an international match for the first time in nearly three years, including a World Cup qualifier against Iraq.
Thursday’s friendly follows months of protests that began in September after the death of 22-year-old Kurd Mahsa Amin after she was detained by morality police for violating a strict dress code. According to the human rights organization in Iran, hundreds of people lost their lives in this protest.
The Islamic Republic banned women from football stadiums and other sports venues after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) intervened and ordered Iran to open stadiums to women after the death of fan Sahar Khodaari, who set herself on fire outside a pitch fearing arrest for wanting to watch a match. .
The young woman, known as the “blue girl” because of the colors of the Al-Istiklal club she supports, tried to enter the stadium disguised as a young girl.
His death sparked outrage with many calling for a ban on Iran’s international matches and a boycott of the matches.
FIFA has been lobbying for years for Iran to open its stadiums to women, but until 2019, Tehran only allowed a limited number of women to attend certain matches.
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