Same old Iran. Women refused entry to 100th Tehran derby

April 24 – Women were reportedly barred from attending the Tehran derby between Esteghlal and Persepolis in the Iranian top flight. 

Iran’s Mehr news agency reported that “a number of women interested in the Esteghlal and Persepolis teams were standing in front of the stadium so that they might be able to enter, but they were forced to leave the area around the stadium by the order of the police officers.”

It was the 100th Tehran derby with the two clubs vying for a spot at the top of the table.

Women have been barred from attending soccer matches in Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Iran’s clerical establishment opposes the practice of allowing women into stadiums along with male fans. Under pressure from FIFA, Iranian football officials promised that female fans would be allowed into stadiums but except for a few national team matches and club games in the capital, they remain banned.

“Before the World Cup, we wrote a letter demanding Iran’s expulsion and one of the reasons was that Iranian FA was doing a PR show when they let a few women under very restrict situations enter leagues matches,” OpenStadiums, a movement backing female fans, told Insideworldfootball.

“FIFA was happy with that ‘progress’ or maybe they prefer to get easily manipulated!”

Last week, the Iranian FA opposed the attendance of female fans at a match between Sepahan and Melwan despite the approval of a local council.

“We all knew that after the World Cup we would return to the same Islamic Republic situation that doesn’t allow women to attend football matches normally,” said Open Stadiums. “Although Taj, the FA president, in his speeches says women can attend matches, in reality, they don’t do anything to facilitate this process. Women attending matches is also one of the main demands of the recent Women, Life, Freedom uprising.”

The chaos at the Azadi Stadium was compounded when fans had to be moved due to the risk of the second tier collapsing. Iran’s national stadium has long been in need of renovation.

FIFA said it is in “regular dialogue with the Islamic Republic of Iran Football Federation regarding this issue.”

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1711671591labto1711671591ofdlr1711671591owedi1711671591sni@i1711671591tnuk.1711671591ardni1711671591mas1711671591


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