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Iran: Technical glitch gives female football fans a short-lived hope

Iranian female football fans were amazed to have found an online option to be able to buy tickets for men’s football match. The authorities later announced that it was a “technical glitch” on the website.

According to BBC, the website seemed to have given an option for women to purchase tickets for men’s football matches, despite the country’s ban on women to attend certain matches. The option for the online ticket purchasing was for the World Cup qualifier against Syria.

Women who bought the tickets online were surprised and expressed their joy. Despite the ban, women are allowed in Iran to watch certain matches’ men play, in segregated sections in stadiums. The games include volleyball, basketball, handball and tennis. But they are not permitted to watch men’s football, swimming, or wrestling.

Many women were as a result surprised when they were given an option to buy tickets for an upcoming match at Tehran’s Azadi stadium.
Some proudly shared pictures of their purchases on Twitter.

Zahra Jafarzadeh, a purchaser told the reformist Shahrvand newspaper that she bought the ticket despite not liking football. “I felt that if didn t sign up, I would be missing a major event,” Jafarzadeh said.

The football federation later issued a statement and stressed that there was “no plan to allow the presence of women in Azadi stadium for the Iran- Syria match”. It further stated that all women would be refunded for the purchased tickets.

Ghoncheh Ghavami, a British-Iranian woman who was detained for four months after attempting to watch a men s volleyball match in 2015, urged female fans to keep buying tickets for the match in protest at the stadium ban.

ghoncheh ghavami @ghoncheh88

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