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Iran’s Azadi Stadium opens up to women’s football

Iran’s Azadi Stadium will host the women’s national football team for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution, it has been announced.

No date has been set for the match, which will see Iran take on Russia in a friendly ahead of the 2020 summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

The AFP news agency reported that only female fans will be able to attend the match at the Tehran venue (pictured), which has a capacity of 78,000.

Iranian women have been banned from attending men’s sporting events for the majority of the 40 years that have passed since the Islamic revolution.

Last year, women were allowed to enter Azadi Stadium to watch Iran’s men’s team take on Spain at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, with giant screens having been fitted at the venue.

The announcement that Azadi Stadium will host a women’s international football match represents a step forward for Iran, but it remains to be seen whether female fans will be permitted to freely attend men’s sporting events in the near future. Last November, FIFA’s Human Rights Advisory Board urged the body to lay out a timeframe for Iran to begin allowing women to attend matches.

Image: Tabarez