Iranian women were once again denied entry into a soccer stadium despite FIFA’s pressure on Islamic Republic to allow them for international and official games.
Iran and Lebanon played their last World Cup Qualifier match at Imam Reza Stadium in Mashhad on Tuesday. Tickets were sold to women to watch the match but when they wanted to enter the stadium, the security told them that they are not allowed.
However, there are reports that a limited number of women managed to enter the stadium.
About 12,500 tickets were sold for the match, and 2,000 of them were allocated for women.
Videos on social media show hundreds of women protesting outside the stadium that they were holding tickets but not allowed in.
Mashhad is home to numerous hardliner clerics who are against the presence of women in male dominated places. Firebrand representative of the Supreme Leader in the city, Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda has been banning concerts and cultural events for years.
The Islamic Republic, which has barred female spectators from stadiums for years claiming it would violate religious rules of decency, was forced by world soccer body FIFA to allow a limited number of women to attend a January match against Iraq. Its next match was against the UAE that was held without spectators.
Despite the FIFA order to allow women into stadiums without restriction and in numbers determined by demand for tickets, Iran announced 2,000 of the 10,000 tickets for the match against Iraq were exclusively reserved for women and they had to sit in segregated areas.