For the first time in Iran's forty-year history, Iranian women can buy tickets for a football match. For the first home game of the World Cup qualifier against Cambodia next Thursday, a website for four special tribunes was offered on a website, which are intended only for women.
According to the state news agency IRNA on Friday, women were initially offered tickets for only two grandstands. But since they were sold out in a few minutes, two more grandstands were added. According to IRNA, 3,500 tickets were sold within a few minutes. Fifa told Reuters that it expects up to 4,600 available tickets. However, it is unclear how many of these tickets have been awarded for "selected guests", such as footballers and coaches. The Asadi Stadium in Tehran holds around 78,000 seats.
In Iran, women are forbidden to attend football matches in the stadium for four decades. About a month ago, an Iranian woman, who threatened the prison with a visit to the stadium, had herself lit in protest before the court and succumbed to her injuries shortly thereafter. The death of Sahar Khodayari had sparked worldwide sympathy. Fifa then gave the Iranian Federation a deadline to allow women to visit the stadium. Otherwise, since equal treatment of men and women is governed by the statutes of the World Football Association, the Fifa could exclude Iran.
Sports Minister Massud Soltanifar announced about two weeks ago that women in Iran may in future at least play international matches. In the Asadi Stadium in Tehran, separate entrances, an extra grandstand and women's toilets were set up for women. In addition, special police units are to be used so that the women get safely in and out of the stadium, Soltanifar had said.
Welcome to the game! "
"Sold out!" Tweeted the movement of Iranian women called "Open Stages," which campaign for equal rights and an end to the stadium ban. An activist from the movement told Reuters news that the sale of the tickets had taken place without any announcement from the association that the women had heard about it through social media. "It was a chaotic situation," she is quoted as saying. In addition, "Open Stadiums" criticizes the fact that the women in the separate stands could not pursue the game together with their sons.
On social media, many Iranian women on social media celebrated ticket sales as a major achievement for their fight against discrimination against women in the country. Under the heading "finally done after 40 years" many Iranian women also posted their ticket. Even male users commented on the decision, one wrote "Welcome to the game !!!".