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BANGKOK 15 November 2018 00:15
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Iran lets hundreds of women attend Asian Champions League final

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Iran lets hundreds of women attend Asian Champions League final

 

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran allowed hundreds of local women to attend the Asian Champions League final in Tehran on Saturday, Iranian news agencies reported, in a possible step towards ending their decades-old exclusion from top soccer matches in the country.

 

The semi-official news agency Tasnim said an unspecified number of women had entered the Azadi (Freedom) Stadium to watch Persepolis seek to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit against Japan's Kashima Antlers and claim their first continental crown.

 

It said the women had joined in with chanting in support of Persepolis, Iran's best-supported club.

 

Iranian women and girls have not been allowed to attend any men's sporting events in the country for much of the 39 years since the Islamic revolution, and have not been granted access to matches involving top clubs since 1981.

 

However, in a rare move last month, about 100 women were allowed to watch a friendly soccer match between Iran and Bolivia.

 

As 80,000 people gathered at the Azadi to watch Saturday's game, Iranian social media reports said most of the women who had been let into the stadium were relatives of players or members of Iran's female football and futsal teams and football federation employees.

 

The ISNA news agency said fans around the stadium cheered as the women entered the stands set aside for them, which an official said had a capacity of 850 seats.

 

Elaheh Hamidikia, a reporter for ISNA, said on Twitter that about 500 women were admitted.

 

Female fans from other countries have previously been permitted to attend games at the Azadi Stadium.

 

Parliament member Fatemeh Zolqadr said earlier that world soccer's governing body FIFA had demanded women be allowed to attend top-level games.

 

"This should be done to avoid any problems for the country's football," she was quoted as saying by the parliament news website ICANA.

 

Campaign group Open Stadiums has been lobbying for access to venues for women in Iran, and representatives of the organisation met with FIFA general secretary Fatma Samoura this week to hand over a petition signed by more than 200,000 people.

 

Speaking before Saturday's game, a spokesperson for the group said overturning women's exclusion "has been our dream for decades"

 

"We are always excluded from public happiness and excitement," the spokesperson told Reuters by e-mail on condition of anonymity.

 

Samoura said FIFA would work with Iran to end the long-running ban on women attending matches but offered no insight as to when a breakthrough could be expected, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported on Thursday.

 

The restrictions on Iranian women that were relaxed for the match against Bolivia were quickly reinstated under pressure from hardliners within the government.

 

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has also held talks with Iranian soccer authorities in an attempt to find a solution to the long-running issue.

 

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-11-11

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What do you know? the winds of change are coming, what next? women will be allowed to go to cinema or watch a play? we can only hope and pray..

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11 minutes ago, champers said:

300 out of 77,000. Wow!!!

How many are allowed to do stuff like that in the bastion of freedom called Saudi Arabia?

 

 

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3 minutes ago, billd766 said:

How many are allowed to do stuff like that in the bastion of freedom called Saudi Arabia?

 

 

Approximstely the same  ...  give or, ahem, take 300.

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1 hour ago, champers said:

Approximstely the same  ...  give or, ahem, take 300.

I’ll ask a mate later but I’m pretty sure it’s allowed here now. Women can now drive since about July and cinemas opened this year

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3 hours ago, mrbojangles said:

cinemas opened this year

Albeit in Saudi Arabia with "family screenings” requiring women to be accompanied by a husband or male relative. But women can drive alone and be able to obtain driver’s licenses without having to ask permission of their husbands, fathers or any male guardian. 

So Iran appears behind in women's freedoms.

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Every time I read these kind of messages, I thank European leaders, from Karel Martel till the present Jazidy fighters, to beat islam. 

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