On Tuesday afternoon, for the last qualifying match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Iran hosted Lebanon. 12,500 spectators were to fill the Imam Reza Stadium halfway. Thus, although only half of the works were sold, the latter were not allowed to participate.
2000 women who bought their seats were blocked at the entrance to the stadium in the city of Mashhad. However, at the beginning of the year they received the right to attend a football match for the first time in three years. It was also a qualifying game for the World Cup in Qatar. The governor of the city, Moshen Davarin, told Iranian state television IRIB that “Unfortunately, a large number of people from outside did not manage to enter the stadium”.
Three years ago FIFA ordered the Islamic Republic to allow women access to competitions without discrimination, under fear of possible sanctions. Yesterday there was a complete misunderstanding of supporters who did not know about the measure of the day forbidding them entry. Therefore, they were unable to see their national team beat Lebanon 2-0 and take first place in their group with a key ticket to Qatar.
Exclusion of women from stadiums in Iran has already faced dramatic episodes in the past. In 2018, a woman managed to enter a football stadium in Iran dressed as a man and set herself on fire for fear of arrest.
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