Iran National Stadium to Host Women’s Soccer for First Time Since Revolution

Players from Iran's women national football team (white) exchange flowers with players from Germany's Al-Dersimspor team before a friendly match at Tehran's Ararat stadium 28 April 2006. Hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced this week that Iranian women can go to stadiums to watch sporting events, putting an end to a …

Iran’s largest stadium has been given the go-ahead to host the women’s national football team in a match for the first time since the Islamic revolution, however men will be strictly barred from attendance.

Women were forbidden from attending matches after the 1979 Islamic revolution. Hardline clerics argued at the time women must not be allowed to view semi-clad men in athletic endeavours for fear of corrupting their souls.

They also worried women might accidently touch men as crowds entered or left stadiums, potentially causing lascivious thoughts in both parties.

Such has been the sustained bias against women becoming involved in soccer at any level in Iran that female lovers of the game have previously resorted to wearing fake beards and mustaches to gain entry to matches.

The semi-official news agency ISNA reported on Sunday that has all changed and women will be free to play and watch – as long as no men are inside the stadium at the same time.

The team will face Russia at Tehran’s Azadi stadium in a friendly match as part of the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, football federation chief Mehdi Taj told ISNA.

Although this is a major breakthrough for women in Iran, some things remain unchanged.

Just last year Iran banned some of its women players from billiard sports competitions for a year for violating the Islamic codes of conduct at a tournament in China, as Breitbart Jerusalem reported.

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