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Banner displayed referencing Iranian women during the match

Iran Bars Women from Attending Soccer Match in Mashhad

Iran has once again denied women entry to a soccer stadium to watch an international match, leaving hundreds of ticketed fans locked out, Iranian media says. The World Cup qualifier against Lebanon last night, won 2-0 by Iran, was played at the Imam Reza stadium in the northeastern city of Mashhad.

“About 2,000 Iranian women, who had bought tickets for the Iran-Lebanon match, were present in the perimeter of Imam Reza stadium, but could not enter the stadium,” ISNA news agency says.

“For this match, 12,500 tickets were sold, of which 2,000 were for women,” it adds.

Mohsen Davari, governor of Mashhad, tells IRIB state television: “I apologize that many people couldn’t enter the stadium… Unfortunately, a large number of people outside the stadium were deprived of watching the game.”

In the face of the controversy, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi today orders the interior ministry to look into the incident. In January, women were allowed to attend an international for the first time in almost three years, for a World Cup qualifier against Iraq.

The Islamic Republic has generally barred female spectators from soccer and other sports stadiums since it was established in 1979. (TOI / VFI News)

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