This Thursday Iran made history for women's rights, because after 40 years the authorities gave in and allowed women to enter a stadium in order to witness a football match .
Despite the historical event, several women complained about the few seats reserved for them, and according to figures provided by El País, only 4,600 of 78,000 seats were available for women. At first, only 3,500 tickets were arranged, but due to the success, they had to release 1,100 more tickets.
Women in the Azadi stadium in Tehran. / Photo: Rouzbeh Fouladi / ZUMA Wire / dpa
LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz
Listen to this article
Leer en español: ¡Por fin! Las mujeres podrán asistir a partidos en Irán
While the women's attendance at the stadium represents a breakthrough, the whole situation was full of limitations, in addition to the box office, the stands were still separated from men and guarded by female police officers. However, it was they who filled and supported the Azadi stadium.
The fact that they were witnessing the match between Iran and Cambodia, in the qualifying phase for the World Cup in Qatar 2022, and that the home team beat the visitor 14 points by 0, made the event sweeter.
The win was well distributed since seven goals were made in the first half, and the other seven in the second. Karim Ansarifard opened the scoring in minute five, becoming the figure of the match by scoring four goals. Iran is now the leader of Group C, which also includes Bahrain, Cambodia and Hong Kong.
Iran gave in because of the pressure
Although what happened is a historical milestone, the initiative does not come from the Iranian government, nor from the entities responsible for football in that country. It must be clear that there were two main factors that helped give the final push.
On the one hand, FIFA announced that it would take drastic measures against the Iranian national team if women were not allowed to enter. Thus, and in mid-September, a FIFA committee met with both the government and the Iranian Football Federation, where the international committee stated that “during these productive discussions, our firm and clear position was reiterated that women have to be allowed to freely attend football matches, and that the number of women present in the stadiums has to be determined by demand".
In addition to the above, another key factor was the suicide of an Iranian woman, who was immolated after knowing that, for trying to attend a live match, she would face six months in jail. Sahar Jodayarí, 29, was discovered trying to enter a game of her Esteghlal team, which lamented the facts.
After international discussions and pressures, that same September, Iran said it would allow women to enter the stadium.
40 years unable to enter
The prohibition to enter the stadiums was one of the many social modifications that the Iranian revolution brought in 1979, and that despite not being written anywhere, it began to be rigorously practiced.
Women of Iran now expect more measures to be modified so that they can fully enjoy something so natural and simple for most of the world: go to support not only the national team, but the local teams.