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Iran football body proposes bill to allow women into stadia

The Iranian football federation has requested parliament adopt a law that would overturn a ban on women attending matches in stadia, according to the body’s secretary general.

“A bill has been proposed to the Islamic national assembly by the Iranian football federation. Once it has been approved, the presence of women will be allowed,” Hassan Kamrani Far said late Thursday, quoted by the Tasnim news agency.

Iran’s parliament is largely dominated by ultraconservatives and religious dignitaries who remain opposed to women attending matches.

Women were refused access to stadia after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, officially to protect them from inappropriate male behaviour, but exceptions have been made in recent times for international games.

World football’s governing body FIFA has exerted pressure to allow women into international qualifiers.

Women were able to watch a game at the 80,000-seat Azadi stadium in October 2019, when Iran thrashed Cambodia 14-0.

Iranian women were then to be allowed to watch the national team in a World Cup 2022 qualifier against South Korea earlier this month, the state television-linked Young Journalists Club reported before that game.

The match went ahead behind closed doors.

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