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Iran “hand-picked” women fans to attend football match

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The Iranian Football Federation did not sell tickets to any female wanting to attend the Persepolis-Kashima Antlers match

For the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League final, FIFA and the AFC had only one request: Iranian club Persepolis should allow women in the stadium.

The many were there, but now it has been discovered that the Iranian Football Federation did not sell tickets to female fans, but hand-picked them for the stands.

“I’ve been a Persepolis fan and a soccer fan since I was a child. Both my mother and grandmother went to stadiums before the revolution. But I have not gone yet,” Sahar Toloui, a journalist for Iran’s daily Shargh told Al-Monitor.

“When they invite you, it means they have selected you. It does not mean that they have recognized your right to be in the stadium. I could have gone. But my mother, grandmother, friends and colleagues could not, because they were not on the list of invitees.”

“We in Iran know that the women’s presence is selective. But we don’t know if FIFA is aware of this or not. Even foreign media did not report much on the selective nature of women’s presence. This is a trend we also see in volleyball matches,” she added.

“The main issue is that they have to give us our rights. I can buy a ticket to go to the cinema, concert …. But to go to the stadium, I cannot. Therefore, I do not go. Personally, I did not think it was right. But I also don’t want to reprimand anyone who did go.”