For the first time in Iran's existence, the country''s government has allowed women in the country to enter stadiums in order to watch football matches. Iran has taken this decision after FIFA has threatened to suspend the country for its controversial male-only policy.
Around 40 years ago, Iran had banned women from watching football in stadiums. Clerics say that this decision was taken to shield Iranian women from the manly atmosphere and the sight of men wearing shorts in the stadium while playing the game.
Iran has agreed to comply with FIFA after a female football fan in the country dubbed 'Blue Girl', set herself on fire and died a few minutes later. The Blue Girl 's drastic step has a cause - Her fear of getting caught by the authorities and sent to jail after she had violated the country's rule to watch a football match featuring the national side.
Many rallies and social media campaigns had been started by Iranian women and social workers after the incident and now their hard work has paid off. Women were quick to book tickets for the World Cup 2022 qualifier match between Iran and Cambodia at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium on Thursday. Sources from the country's sports ministry reveal that the 100,000-capacity stadium whose name means 'Freedom' in Farsi, was ready to host even more women.
Authorities claim that around 35,000 women have booked tickets for the upcoming match. One of the women who secured her tickets successfully revealed that she could still not believe that Iran has agreed to this. She adds that after watching this game on television for decades, she will now be able to experience everything in person. Even some Iranian men were happy with the decision. "I bought tickets for my mother and my wife," says the deputy of Tehran's sports municipality, Farzad Radboy on Twitter.