Thursday , March 30 2023

Soccer: Iran, hundreds of women advance to Asian Champions League final


Iran has allowed hundreds of local women to participate in the Asian Champions League final in Tehran, Iranian media reports said.

Tasnim, a semi-official news agency, said that the number of women who entered the Agadir (Freedom) stadium to overturn their 2-0 defeat in the first leg against the Japanese Kashima Antlers and claim their first continental crown Unspecified number.

The group praised and supported the women 's most supported club, Persepolis.

Iranian women and girls have not been able to attend most men's sporting events for 39 years after the Islamic Revolution, and have not been given access to the top clubs since 1981.

However, last month 's rare action, about 100 women were able to see friendly matches between Iran and Bolivia.

The Social Welfare Department said that most of the women who came to the arena were relatives of Iran 's women' s football team, futsal team and soccer federation staff, while 80,000 people were living in Azadi to watch the match on Saturday.

The ISNA correspondent cheered when fans around the stadium entered the stand where women could accommodate 850 seats.

Elaheh Hamidikia, a reporter for ISNA, told Twitter that about 500 women joined the company.

Female fans from other countries were able to compete in Azadi Stadium before.

Parliamentarian Fatemeh Zolqadr said the World Federation of Soccer (FIFA) has asked women to be at the top of the game.

She was quoted as saying in the National Assembly website ICANA.

The campaign group, Open Stadiums, is lobbying for women to enter the arena this week and organizers this week met with FIFA Secretary Fatma Samoura and signed a petition signed by more than 200,000 people, .

A spokesman for the group said before Saturday's pre-game speech that overturning women's exclusion was "our dream for decades"

"We are always excluded from the happiness and excitement of the public," a spokesman said in an interview with Reuters.

Samoura will cooperate with Iran to abolish FIFA's long-standing ban on women competing in the event, but the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported on Thursday that it will not provide insight into when breakthroughs are expected.

Restraints on Iranian women who were relaxed in the match against Bolivia were quickly restored by hard-line pressure from the government.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) also held talks with Iranian soccer officials to find a solution to the long term football problem.

(Edited by Dubai Newsroom Press, Kirsten Donovan and Helen Popper)

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