Iranian women attend Iran's World Cup Asian qualifier against Cambodia at the Azadi stadium in Tehran, Iran October 10, 2019.

Iran Continues Women's Stadium Ban

Thursday, 09/28/2023

Despite the Asian Football Confederation's insistence on the presence of women in stadiums, Iranian women are still unable to purchase tickets for Sepahan FC's match in the Champions League.

The online ticket sales process for Sepahan's match against Saudi's Al Ittihad club in the second week of the AFC Champions League began without any provisions for female spectators, a move that clearly contradicts AFC regulations.

The incident occurred despite announcements from Iran's Football Federation regarding the readiness of Naqsh-e Jahan Stadium's infrastructure in Esfahan for accommodating women. Also, Sepahan's matches in Iran's Premier League have taken place without the presence of women.

The issue of women's presence in stadiums outside of Tehran has become increasingly controversial in recent years. FIFA has long advocated for women's access to stadiums, but Iran's Football Federation and other relevant entities persistently delayed its full implementation.

Iran had banned female spectators from stadiums for years, citing religious decency rules. The ban resulted in numerous arrests, beatings, detentions, and abuses against women.

The Iranian regime's handling of women's participation in football matches has also drawn international scrutiny. While there were some limited concessions granted last year, allowing controlled entry, the government's response to nationwide protests eventually led to the revocation of this privilege, resulting in months of matches conducted without spectators.

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