Iranian Fans Hold Banners At World Cup In Support Of Women

June 16, 2018

Iranian fans at the soccer team's first game at the World Cup held banners protesting Iran's ban on women attending soccer matches back home.

Support Iranian Women to Attend Stadiums
Credit: Associated Press

"#NoBan4Women" and "Support Iranian Women to Attend Stadiums" were seen on banners in the St. Petersburg Stadium.

Iranian women have been banned from attending male-only sporting events since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

But the Iranian female soccer fans are breaking all the rules while celebrating with their national team at the World Cup in Russia.

"I'd be whipped for appearing in public like this," said Nazak, 25, who asked to be referred by her first name only. "There is a whole secret, underground side to Iran that people don't see, especially in Tehran, but it is better to wait until you are out of the country to really let your hair down."

Support Iranian Women to Attend Stadiums
Credit: Andrew Medichini / AP

"It's my first time as an Iranian female to be in a stadium. I'm so excited," a young Iranian woman, who gave her name only as Nazanin, told The Associated Press. She had the colors of the Iranian flag painted on her cheek.

Iranian fans continue to celebrate after Iran defeated Morocco 1-0, sealing the country's second ever win in World Cup history.

"This has given me hope," said one fan. "Hope that one day we have the World Cup in Iran. And that everyone will be able to watch it, even the women."

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