FIFA World Cup 2018: #NoBan4Women banner grabs eyeballs in Iran’s win
Iran defeated Morocco 1-0 in their opening Group B game of the FIFA World Cup but the match grabbed eyeballs for a protest by a bunch of fans against the ban on women attending football matches in Iran.football Updated: Jun 16, 2018 12:55 IST
Iran began their FIFA World Cup 2018 campaign on winning note, beating Morocco 1-0 to collect full points in a Group B match at St Petersburg on Friday.
However, the match grabbed eyeballs for a protest by a bunch of fans against the ban on women attending football matches in Iran.
A banner reading “#NoBan4Women” and “Support Iranian Women to Attend Stadiums” was unfurled by these Iranian fans during their country’s opening match.
The banner was first seen during the first half of the game before being put away for a brief period following a commotion reasons of which were unknown. The banner rose again later and remained unfurled for the remainder of the match.
Post the 1979 Islamic revolution, women in Iran were banned from going to stadiums to watch any male-only sporting event. An exception to the ban was made in June 2015 when some women were allowed to attend a volleyball match in Tehran following a public outcry earlier after the arrest of a British-Iranian student Ghoncheh Ghavami for attending a man’s volleyball game at Azadi.
Before the match started on Friday, a number of Iranian fans including women were seen waving their country’s flags and singing songs. This was in sharp contrast to the scene witnessed at one of the main squares in Tehran where no women were seen in the crowd of fans cheering for their team.
“It’s my first time as an Iranian female to be in a stadium. I’m so excited,” a young Iranian woman named Nazanin was quoted as saying by The Associated Press. She had Iranian flag emblazoned on her cheek.
Iranian football players in past have advocated lifting of the ban with the current captain Masoud Shojaei and former Bayern Munich midfield Ali Karimi, who had 127 caps for the country, speaking in the support of women’s participation in the game.
First Published: Jun 16, 2018 11:47 IST