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Who scored when Iran hand-selected women for historic soccer audience?

For some Iranians, the visible female audience at a recent soccer match at Tehran's Azadi stadium was a meaningful win in a long war over allowing women to attend public soccer matches, but others are frustrated at what they consider a publicity stunt.
TEHRAN, IRAN - NOVEMBER 10: fans of Persepolis looks on during the AFC Champions League final second leg match between Persepolis and Kashima Antlers at Azadi Stadium on November 10, 2018 in Tehran, Iran. (Photo by Amin M. Jamali/Getty Images)

The Iranian soccer team Persepolis battled it out against Japan’s Kashima Antlers in the Asian Champions League in Tehran Nov. 10. But before the referee announced the start of the game, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who had traveled to Iran to watch the match, had a request. Infantino asked to be shown that Iranian women had been allowed into the Azadi stadium to watch.

To fulfill his request, Mehdi Taj, the president of the Iranian Football Federation, showed both Infantino and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Sheikh Salman a group of about a thousand women in the stadium — separated by fencing on both sides from their male counterparts.

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