The semi-official ISNA news agency reported, Iran obstructed women from attending the nation’s last 2022 World Cup football qualifying match.

ISNA stated 12,500 tickets were vended online, of which 2,000 had been booked for women. Iran trounced Lebanon 2-0 in the game. A victory in January over Iraq ensured the team a spot in the World Cup in Qatar.

A video spreading on social media depicts hundreds of female soccer fans chanting “we have an objection” in response to the decision to restrict them from visiting the game in the northeastern city of Mashhad.

It was not promptly clear who made the decision to obstruct the women from attending the match.

Khabaronline, an Iranian news website, stated that “despite tickets being sold, women are still not allowed to attend the stadium.”

FIFA has demanded Iran to provide guarantee that women will be permitted to attend 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Women have been mainly restricted from attending men’s matches and other sports events in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Ahmad Alamolhoda, Friday prayer commander in Mashhad, who was recruited by the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stated he is always against the appearance of women as spectators in men’s sports tournaments. He called their attendance “vulgarity.”

Team captain Alireza Jahanbakhsh, in a post-match interview, stated “it would be great to see women in stadiums in the future because they also enjoy seeing the national team, known as TeamMelli, win.”

In January, more than 2,000 female viewers were in Azadi stadium in Tehran when the national team beat Iraq by 1 goal to become the first Asian group team to qualify for the World Cup. It was the second major football event Iranian women observed in the stadium.

In 2019 and for the first time in decades, for the Asian Champions League final, hundreds of Iranian women were permitted to watch Persepolis play the Kashima Antlers of Japan in Tehran.

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