Thousands of female fans headed for the Azidi stadium in Tehran on October 10 to watch Iran take on Cambodia in a World Cup qualifier. It was the first time such a large number of women were officially allowed attend a game in almost 40 years.
Around 3,500 tickets were made available for a women-only section of the stadium, in a development that came after FIFA reportedly put pressure on Iranian authorities to allow women to attend matches.
During last year’s World Cup, female fans were allowed to watch a broadcast at the same stadium of Iran’s game against Spain. Also that year, smaller groups of women attended a friendly against Bolivia.
Attendance at games has become a flashpoint for reformists in Iran, with fans disguising themselves as men to enter stadiums in regular protests. In September 2019, Sahar Khodayari died when she set herself on fire outside a court while awaiting trial for attempting to attend a match while dressed as a man. Credit: @Maryampapi via Storyful