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Iran's female soccer fans still can't attend games

While Iranian authorities said that spectators had been banned from recent games due to health protocols, many fans speculated the move was aimed at avoiding pressure from FIFA to allow women into stadiums.
Iran women football

Exactly one week after the national Iranian men’s soccer team tied South Korea 1-1 in a crucial 2022 World Cup qualifier in the empty Azadi Stadium in Tehran, Saudi fans — both male and female — loudly cheered at Prince Faisal Bin Fahad Stadium in Riyadh as Saudi Al Hilal club took on Iran’s Persepolis in the quarterfinals of the AFC Champions League.

Just a few years ago, it would have been hard to believe that in women in Saudi Arabia, where they did not even have the right to drive until recently, can now watch soccer games in person. But while Iran enjoys a much more progressive and robust civil society than the kingdom, Iranian women still are denied the right to watch sports events in stadiums — a ban that has persisted for the past 40 years.

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