Thousands of Iranian Women Attend World Cup Qualifier in Tehran

Thousands of female fans headed for the Azidi stadium in Tehran on October 10 to watch Iran take on Cambodia in a World Cup qualifier. It was the first time such a large number of women were officially allowed attend a game in almost 40 years.

Around 3,500 tickets were made available for a women-only section of the stadium, in a development that came after FIFA reportedly put pressure on Iranian authorities to allow women to attend matches.

During last year’s World Cup, female fans were allowed to watch a broadcast at the same stadium of Iran’s game against Spain. Also that year, smaller groups of women attended a friendly against Bolivia.

Attendance at games has become a flashpoint for reformists in Iran, with fans disguising themselves as men to enter stadiums in regular protests. In September 2019, Sahar Khodayari died when she set herself on fire outside a court while awaiting trial for attempting to attend a match while dressed as a man. Credit: @Maryampapi via Storyful