Female fans allowed to attend Iran football match for first time in 40 years

Over 3,500 women flocked to the stadium on a landmark day (PA Images)
12:38pm, Fri 11 Oct 2019
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Iran handsomely beat Cambodia 14-0 in their qualifier for the 2022 Football World Cup but the massive win of the day was for gender equality as female fans were admitted to the ground for the first time in 40 years.

Over 35,000 tickets were sold within minutes of their release for the women's section of the Tehran stadium with seats filling up over an hour before kick-off in an otherwise almost deserted stadium.

The game was an historic moment for Iranian football after pressure had been mounting on authorities over fan discrimination based on gender. This was the first time in 40 years that women were permitted to watch the men's game.

The change came about after the death of Sahar Khodayari last month who set herself on fire outside a football stadium when she was told she could face six months in prison for attempting to sneak into a match dressed as a man.

Despite this landmark moment, campaigners and Amnesty International argue that the 5 per cent availability of the stadium to women was a "publicity stunt" and said it was tragic that it took the death of a fan to bring about the change.

The female fans who were lucky enough to get tickets were treated to a high scoring display from their team with four goals from Karim Ansarifard and a hat-trick from Sardar Azmoun contributing to the convincing 14-0 win.

Despite only 35,000 tickets available, the women have made their voices heard (PA Images)