The captain of the Iran football team has called on President Hassan Rouhani to lift the long-standing stadium ban imposed on women and allow them to attend matches.
“They should set a course that women are also allowed to come to the stadiums in future,” Masoud Shojaei, a midfielder who plays with Greek club Panionios, was quoted on the Varzesh3 newsportal Wednesday.
Shojaei’s demands breaks a taboo as no Iranian player had previously dared to call for a lifting of the ban, which now dates 38 years to the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Iran qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia on Monday in a stadium free of female fans but thousands took to the streets in celebration after the victory over Uzbekistan.
President Rouhani’s moderate government is against the stadium ban for women but has not yet been able to prevail over the influential clergy who remain behind it.