By Aleks Klosok, CNN
Iranian women witnessed an important moment as Iran qualified for November’s World Cup in Qatar on Thursday.
To Female fans entered the national team’s website through a special entrance through a parking lot patrolled by female police officers wearing black chador robes and red badges on their arms. They were separated from men in the Stadion.
Since October 2019, Covid-19 restrictions have applied in the country have banned all fans from entering stadiums to see the national team – that was until Thursday.
To According to the country’s ISNA news agency, 2,000 out of 10,000 tickets sold for the 2022 World Cup qualifier between Iran and Iraq at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran went to women.
However, it is unclear how many women were ultimately present in the stadium on Thursday.
Female supporters who were in attendance were pictured with the national colors painted on their cheeks, with many carrying and waving Iranian flags.
“I’m very happy. This is the first time I’ve attended a game at Azadi Stadium,” a 26-year-old civil engineer, who gave her name only as Mahya said AFP.
Mahya added that there was “nothing strange or complicated” about a woman going to the stadium.
“It should have happened sooner but I’m very happy and I hope this continues,” she said.
Another supporter, 24-year-old Golnaz Bahari, told AFP: “I wanted my husband next to me but they said men and women are separate.”
“It will be much better if families can get together,” Bahari added.
On the pitch, Iran became the first Asian nation to secure their spot in Qatar with a 1-0 win over Iraq.
Porto striker Medhi Taremi scored the decisive goal after 48 minutes to send the country into their sixth World Cup and third in a row.
Iran next meet the United Arab Emirates in a World Cup 2022 qualifier, also on Tuesday 1 February at the Azadi Stadium.
However, it is unclear whether female viewers will be allowed.
Iran’s ban on women visiting sports stadiums is not enshrined in law, but was introduced shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
But under pressure from the human rights group and the world governing body of sport, FIFA, Iran I Agree to let women into the stadium in September 2019.
A month later, women were allowed to legally attend the 2022 World Cup qualifier between Iran and Cambodia at the Azadi Stadium.
The initial allocation 3,500 tickets for female fans quickly sold out – reportedly in less than an hour – before another 1,100 were released for the game.
The spectators in the stadium were treated to a goal fest in which Iran won 14-0.
The CNN Wire
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