Iranian women were barred from entry to their national football team’s World Cup qualifier against Syria (BBC News). Women are banned from attending men’s football matches in Iran. However, several women were able to buy tickets online a week earlier, when an option for women’s tickets appeared on the ticketing website. Iran’s football federation later said the tickets were sold by mistake and promised to refund those who had bought them. Some women with tickets still went to the stadium, curious to see if they could get in. Reports emerged that some women had snuck into the stadium by carrying Syrian flags and pretending to be foreigners, but were later detained. Other women were not let in and threatened with arrest. Some female members of parliament were given permission to attend, but turned down the offer given the “selective approach” taken by authorities. A number of female MPs called for a change in the practice (The Guardian). In 2006, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tried to lift the ban, but faced heavy criticism from hardliners, forcing him to drop the conversation. FYI: Iran and Syria tied 2-2.
The Azadi Stadium website was hacked, a day after the football match against Syria (AFP). A banner was placed on the front page for several hours: “Let Iranian women enter their stadiums.”
Many Iranian women took to social media to express their anger over the long-standing ban on women entering stadiums (RFERL). One user tweeted, “It’s like our parents allowing the neighbor’s daughter to use our house’s facilities but banning us from doing the same.”
Twitter campaign exposes Iranian gender clichés (IranWire).