Iran’s Sports Minister, Masoud Soltanifar, on Thursday, announced that Iranian women will be allowed into stadiums to watch the men’s national team play football.
Soltanifar said in a statement “All necessary preparations have been made so that women, initially however only for international games, can come into the football stadiums.
“At the Azadi Stadium in Tehran, where Iran play most of their matches and are due to host World Cup qualifiers from next month, separate entrances, stands and toilets have been prepared’’.
Soltanifar said there will also be extra police to ensure women can enter and leave the stadium safely.
Women had been banned from attending football matches in Iran for four decades. A woman recently died after setting herself on fire in protest at being given a jail term for attempting to watch a club match.
Iranian President Hassan Rowhani is reportedly in favour of lifting the ban but has been unable to prevail against the wishes of Iran’s powerful clergy, which believes a stadium atmosphere is unsuitable for women.