Iran Opens Ban on Women Football Fans Watching At Stadium

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Iranian government has issued a ban on women watching live in football stadiums. In March 2019, a woman named Sahar Khodayari (29 years old) disguised herself, as if she were a man. Khodayari wore a jacket and blue wig. Therefore, then he was called the Blue Girl. Khodayari wants to watch the match between Al Ain against Esteghai, his proud team. Maybe he has also watched other matches in disguise.

Women watching football are seen as watching male genitals, in Iran. Therefore, Khodayari had to deal with the trial of the Islamic Revolution. And while waiting for the trial, Khodayari had time to stay in jail for three nights. If proven, Khodayari was threatened with a prison sentence of 6 months. Threatened with imprisonment, Khodayari finally set himself on fire in the court area on September 2, 2019. Suffering from burns to the rest of the body, Khodayari finally died in the hospital.

Not a few soccer players, human rights organizations, and FIFA condemned the incident and asked for the rules set by the Islamic Revolution to be revoked. Hass the Iranian government listening? Inspired by the Khodayari case, in the end for the first time since 1979, the Iranian government allowed women to attend the stadium and watch football matches.

Regarding ticket sales, in just a matter of minutes, as many as 3,500 pieces for women were sold out of the overall capacity of the stadium which is capable of accommodating 78,000 spectators, Azadi Stadium, Tehran. Raha Purbakhsh, an Iranian woman journalist, said she still felt unbelief in what had happened, reopening for the first time after four decades of the ban.

Meanwhile, a football writer said this was a historic event, where normally, an Iranian woman would be thrown into prison gathering with other political prisoners. Inevitably, the majority of women who watched at the Azadi stadium shed tears and cried because of emotion, this time they were released from shackles for four decades. They can now rejoice and wave the Iranian flag again as they did in the match.

The presence of womenfolk, apparently gave encouragement to the Iranian national team players, they crushed their opponents. Matchday 2 14-0 over Cambodia was scored by Hossein Kannanizadegan, Mehrdad Mohammadi, Ahmad Naouralhi, Mohammed Mohebi (2 goals), Mahdi Teremi (2 goals), Serdar Azmoun (3 goals), and Karim Ansarifard (4 goals). As a result, Iran topped the Group C standings with six points, from two matches. Besides Iran and Cambodia, the other Group C are Hong Kong, Bahrain and Iraq.

It turned out that the presence of women in the stadium whipped up their enthusiasm for partying goals. Action of the Islamic Revolution of Iran to release the shackles, considered FIFA as a step forward. FIFA hopes that these steps are not speculation. Luckily, in Indonesia womenfolk have the same rights as the males. No more rights can be said. In fact, it is not allowed and there is no difference between women and men.

Men and women alike shouted joyfully watching their pride teams. Let’s watch our pride team in the stadium, screaming, rejoicing. But what must be avoided is the occurrence of violence between supporters, which even damage the stadium facilities.


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