In a rare move, authorities in Iran permitted women to attend a soccer game at the Tehran Azadi stadium in the Iranian capital on Thursday evening, local media reported.
Videos posted on social media show women inside the stadium as the national league game between Esteghlal FC, the second most popular team in Iran, and Mes-e Kerman kicked off.
The footage shows women waving blue team flags of Esteghlal and cheering from their seats, in a special area designated for women at the 100,000-seat stadium.
According to the semi-official ISNA news agency, 500 tickets were dedicated exclusively for women though it wasn’t immediately clear how many attended.
A news website, Asriran, said that four hours ahead of the match, tickets assigned for women sold for about $70 on the black market, compared to their official price of under $2.
Women have been mainly prohibited from attending men’s games and other sporting events in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, despite FIFA’s demands that Iran permits women to attend the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
In 2019 and for the first time after decades, for the Asian Champions League final, hundreds of Iranian women were allowed to watch Persepolis play Kashima Antlers of Japan in Tehran.