Women attend football match for first time in Iran20 April 2005

Teheran, 20 April – A limited number of women have been allowed to attend a football match for the first time. A group of about 15 women coaches, referees and players were granted admission to the stadium to see an evening Asian league clash between Sepahan Isfahan of Iran and Syrian side Al Wahda, which took place at the Naqshe Jahan Stadium in Isfahan in central Iran. The group of women watched the game from a separate stand to the 'male fans'. The presence of Iranian women at football matches was always taboo, as the stadium was considered inappropriate for women on account of the 'immoral' atmosphere and the use of swear words. Nevertheless Iranian women follow football with great interest, a game they also play, on enclosed pitches well away from the gaze of the men.