Women watch Iran football league game for first time in more than 40 years

·1-min read
Women cheer on their team in Iran after being allowed entry  (TASNIM NEWS/AFP via Getty Images)
Women cheer on their team in Iran after being allowed entry (TASNIM NEWS/AFP via Getty Images)

Women have legally attended a football league match in Iran for the first time since 1979, cheering on a game in Tehran on Thursday.

Since the Islamic revolution more than 40 years ago, women have been barred from attending stadiums - although some have managed to go to games in disguise.

In that time, women have been allowed in for some games involving the national team - most notably in 2019 following the arrest of a woman who dressed as a man to get a seat.

Sahar Khodayari set herself on fire outside a court after hearing she might face a six month jail sentence for breaking prohibition and died in hospital six days later.

Around 500 women attended and sat separately in the game between home side Estaqlal and Mes-e Kerman - and were heard chanting “blue girl” in memory of Ms Khodayari, who took the nickname in honour of the kit of the team she supported, Esteghlal FC.

In 2018, a group of women made headlines after sneaking into watch Persepolis football team play - with expert make-up techniques fooling guards into thinking they were men.

Images were shared on social media, with one of the women admitting she adopts a different disguise every time to avoid detection.