Women are barred from watching a World Cup qualifier soccer match in Iran, According to a report

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Iran IranWomen were barred from attending Iran’s last 2022 World Cup qualification match on Tuesday, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency. ISNA reported that 12,500 seats were sold online, with 2,000 earmarked for women. In the match, Iran beat Lebanon 2-0. A win against Iraq in January guaranteed the squad a place in the World Cup in Qatar.

In response to the decision to bar female soccer supporters from attending the match in Mashhad, a video circulating on social media shows hundreds of female soccer fans yelling, “We have an objection.” It was unclear who made the decision to prevent the women from attending the game. “Despite tickets being sold, women are still not permitted to visit the stadium,” according to Khabaronline, an Iranian news website.

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FIFA has long asked that Iran offer guarantees that women would be permitted to compete in World Cup qualifiers in 2022. Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, women have been mostly barred from attending men’s games and other sporting activities in Iran. Friday prayer leader in Mashhad Ahmad Alamolhoda, who was selected by the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stated he is always opposed women seeing males compete in sports. He referred to their presence as “vulgarity.”

In a post-match interview, team captain Alireza Jahanbakhsh stated it would be nice to see more women in stadiums in the future since they like watching the national team, dubbed “TeamMelli,” win. More than 2,000 female fans packed Azadi stadium in Tehran in January to watch the national team overcome Iraq 1-0 to become the first Asian group team to qualify for the World Cup. It was the stadium’s second big soccer match in which Iranian women were present. Hundreds of Iranian women were permitted to witness Persepolis play the Kashima Antlers of Japan in the Asian Champions League final in Tehran for the first time in decades in 2019.

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