Iranian women were on Thursday 10th October 2019 allowed into the country’s national stadium to see their national team play, for the first time in 40-years since the ban was imposed.
The move to lift the ban on the Iranian women to see football games inside the stadium came after world football governing body, FIFA threatened to ban Iran, and the tragic death of a young lady known as the Blue-girl. The news saw over 3,000 Iranian women trooping into the stadium at the special women-only section in the Azadi Stadium, to cheer on their national team.
It is the first time in 40-years after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Up until now there had only been a few exceptions made for small groups on rare occasions.
Waving flags, blowing vuvuzela plastic horns and displaying the team colours of red, green and white, the women were able to watch the side win a World Cup qualifying match against Cambodia 14-0
Crowds also paid tribute to the ‘Blue Girl’ fan who died last month.
FIFA had sent a delegation to Tehran to ensure that women were allowed to attend the game following the death last month of Sahar Khodayari, who set herself on fire to protest against her arrest for trying to get into a match.
Dubbed “Blue Girl” online for her favourite team Esteghlal’s colours, she had feared being jailed for six months by the Islamic Revolutionary Court for trying to enter a stadium dressed as a man
Video footage of the crowd at Thursday’s match, posted on twitter, showed some supporters chanting “Blue Girl, Blue Girl”. Other video showed supporters chanting “FIFA, Thank You”.
While Iran’s dominant performance ensured little drama on the field, there was no shortage of emotion in the crowd
“We have an incredible feeling as the first Iranian women entering the stadium,” said one fan, interviewed by local television.