Iranian women were victims of discrimination during the Iran-Syria World Cup Qualifier match, deputy to the Iranian president, Ma’soumeh Ebtekar admitted Friday. Ebtekar also said that she had discussed the matter with the Sports and Youth Affairs minister, Massoud Soltanifar, Iran Freedom reports.
Without elaborating, Ebtekar stressed that consultations with executive, cultural and police officials are underway, Khabaronline website reported. However, the head of Iran’s Football Federation, Mehdi Taj maintained that structurally and physically, his administration is not yet prepared to allow women to enter the stadiums and watch soccer matches.
A number of women who had succeeded to buy tickets online for the match between Iranian and Syrian national sides were barred from entering the stadium. Reacting to the incident, Mehdi Taj affirmed that a technical glitch allowed eleven women to buy tickets online.
“However, as soon as the glitch was detected, we immediately canceled the tickets”, Taj claimed.
Meanwhile, he reiterated that Syrian women were allowed to enter the stadium and watch the match in accordance with the international rules and regulations. Nevertheless, President Rouhani’s special aide for Citizens’ Rights, Shahindokht Molaverdi, in a tweet confirmed that, according to the Citizens’ Rights Charter, women’s presence at the sports arenas is part of their rights.
Moreover, the head of women’s faction at the parliament, Parvaneh Salahshouri has lamented that she prefers to stay away from all sports arenas until the problem of women entering stadiums is resolved.
“Barring women from entering the arena to watch the soccer match between Iran and Syria was an indecent act and discriminatory”, Salahshouri lambasted those responsible for, suggesting, “As a test, let women enter the arena in one of the capital derbies and clear up the dimensions of the problem”.
Iranian women, who used to freely attend sport matches before the Islamic revolution, under an unwritten law, have been barred from entering sports arenas by the Islamic Republic officials. They have tried for years to retain their right with no success.