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Iran women freely at FIFA soccer match, 1st time in decades

An Iranian woman waves her country's flag as she arrives at the Azadi Stadium to watch the 2022 World Cup qualifier soccer match between Iran and Cambodia, in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Iranian women are freely allowed into the stadium for the first time in decades. They had been banned since 1981. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian women have just watched a FIFA soccer match kickoff after being freely allowed into a stadium for the first time in decades.

Iran faces Cambodia in the 2022 World Cup qualifier being held Thursday at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium.

But the match has taken on even greater importance after Iran, facing pressure from the world soccer body, allocated 4,000 tickets for women. They had been banned since 1981.

Authorities provided special security and female police officers for the match.

The decision follows the death of a young woman who set herself on fire after hearing she could face prison time for sneaking into an Iranian soccer match disguised as a man.

Iran is the world’s last nation to bar women from soccer matches. Saudi Arabia recently began allowing women into soccer matches.

The Associated Press



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