Azadi stadium opened to Iranian women for Persepolis-Esteghlal

December 15 – Female fans in Iran have claimed a moral victory after being allowed to venture inside the Azadi Stadium in Tehran to attend Thursday’s eagerly anticipated clash between Persepolis FC and Esteghlal FC.

Women have staged a long campaign to be allowed into stadiums to watch men’s games after decades of exclusion.

A photograph was posted on social media by the group Open Stadiums of three female fans inside the stadium. Up to 3,000 tickets were apparently set aside to be made available for women.

“Historical day for women’s rights activists and the fight for equal access to public spaces will continue,” the activist group posted, having last year called on FIFA to ban Iran from the World Cup because of its discriminatory policy.

Although a small group of female fans were granted access to Persepolis’s home leg of the 2018 Asian Champions League final in Tehran, there has been minimal progress since.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino cited his own role in the recent campaign after meeting with state president Ebrahim Raisi.

“In September, I had the pleasure of meeting Iran President Ebrahim Raisi in New York City, where we discussed the development of women’s football in the country and progress made regarding the presence of women in football stadiums,” Infantino said in a statement.

“It was, therefore, with great delight that I learned around 3,000 women attended the Tehran derby between Persepolis FC and Esteghlal FC today.

“Thanks to the ongoing dialogue between FIFA and the Islamic Republic of Iran Football Federation, progress is being made.”

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1709056825labto1709056825ofdlr1709056825owedi1709056825sni@w1709056825ahsra1709056825w.wer1709056825dna1709056825


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