İrem UZUN -TDO- Iranian women have attended a World Cup qualifier in Tehran after being freely allowed to enter a stadium for a men's match for the first time in decades. More than 3,000 Iranian women have crammed into a special section of a Tehran Stadium to watch a World Cup qualifier against Cambodia, tickets for the match sell out in minutes after four decades of near-total ban.
Women have effectively been banned from stadiums when men are playing since just after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Women were previously allowed into the Azadi Stadium to watch a screening of their team playing Spain in the 2018 World Cup, but Thursday was the first time in decades that they had been allowed to watch a game on Tehran's pitch. The change followed the death of Sahar Khodayari, 29, set herself on fire outside a stadium after learning she might face six months in jail for trying to sneak into a match.
The small women’s section in Azadi Stadium, which constitutes less than %5 of the seats in total of 78.000-capacity, was packed with women draped in, or waving, the national flag, some wearing face paint and wigs in Iran’s red, white and green. "We had fun for three hours. All of us laughed, some of us cried because we were so happy," one woman posted on Twitter. "We had this experience very late in our life, but I am so happy for younger girls who came to the stadium today".