Iran has been given the go-ahead to host the women’s national football team.
Iran’s largest stadium has been given the go-ahead to host the women’s national football team in a match for the first time since the Islamic revolution, however men will be strictly barred from attendance.
Women were forbidden from attending matches after the 1979 Islamic revolution. Hardline clerics argued at the time women must not be allowed to view semi-clad men in athletic endeavours for fear of corrupting their souls.
They also worried women might accidently touch men as crowds entered or left stadiums, potentially causing lascivious thoughts in both parties.
Such has been the sustained bias against women becoming involved in soccer at any level in Iran that female lovers of the game have previously resorted to wearing fake beards and mustaches to gain entry to matches.
The semi-official news agency ISNA reported on Sunday 30th December 2018 that has all changed and women will be free to play and watch just as long as no men are inside the stadium at the same time as the women.
The Iranian Women’s National team will play Russia at Tehran’s Azadi stadium in a friendly match as part of the build up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, football federation chief Mehdi Taj told ISNA