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Slow opening: In 2019, women in Iran were allowed into the stadium for international matches for the first time, such as here against Cambodia


Maryam-Majd / IMAGO

For the first time in more than 40 years, Iranian women are allowed to attend the Tehran city derby in the football stadium. According to the Isna news agency, the two capital city teams Esteghlal and Persepolis Tehran have received permission from the relevant authorities.

The match between Tehran's two top teams will take place on December 14 and is considered the annual football highlight in the country. According to Isna, it is still unclear how many women will be allowed into Tehran's huge Asadi Stadium with a capacity of 100,000 spectators.

The topic of women and football has been controversial since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The country's arch-conservative clergy argue that women have no place in stadiums with fanatical male fans and vulgar chants. It is particularly bad in the city duels between Esteghlal and Persepolis, in which there were several violent clashes between fans and police.

Pressure from Fifa led to easing of restrictions

Under pressure from the world governing body FIFA, the stadium ban for women has been relaxed somewhat over the past three years. Recently, a limited number of women have been allowed in separate stands for international matches and some matches in the Asian Champions League.

In the summer, the regime in Tehran announced that league matches would be allowed to be attended from now on. In fact, women were only able to do this on a few occasions after that.

At the end of August, 28,000 tickets, or 30 percent of Tehran's Azadi Stadium, were made available to women. A spokesman for Iran's sports ministry described the match between Esteghlal Tehran and Mess Kerman as a test. If the result was positive, women would also be allowed into stadiums in other cities, it was said at the time.