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Iran’s female athletes raise voices over entrenched discrimination 

Despite triumphs on the international stage, Iranian women's sports face persistent obstacles at home in terms of pay, training facilities and social discrimination.
Iran women soccer

As the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris approach, Iran’s female athletes are speaking out publicly about the inequities in their professional journey, at a time the world is paying attention to the general trend of discrimination against women in Iran.  

After Iran women’s national soccer team defeated Myanmar in April to make its way to the second round of the 2024 Olympic qualifiers from Asia, the squad’s captain, Zahra Ghanbari, described the victory over a higher-ranked opponent as phenomenal, lamenting the authorities’ failure to recognize them.   

According to a report by Ham-Mihan Daily, each member of Iranian men’s national football team received $15,000 for beating Wales in the group stage of FIFA World Cup in Qatar last November. The bonus was in addition to the generous per diem the players received while in Doha. Ghanbari says after advancing to the second round of Olympic qualifiers, nothing has been disbursed to her and her teammates. 

The most popular players in Iran's men’s premier league are paid between $200-300,000 per season, while the salary of the best female players in the top tier of the national league doesn’t exceed $18,000, Ghanbari said.  

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