Iranian women will be able to enter a football stadium on Thursday for the first time in decades, after Fifa threatened to suspend the Islamic republic over its controversial male-only policy. Iran has barred female spectators from football and other stadiums for around 40 years, with clerics arguing they must be shielded from the masculine atmosphere and sight of semi-clad men. The first batch sold out in under an hour, and additional seats were also snapped up in short order, state media said. One of the 3, women to have secured a ticket was Raha Poorbakhsh, a football journalist. But Poorbakhsh said she was aware of many other women without tickets and some were expected to travel from as far away as Ahvaz in southern Iran in the hope of still getting one. Those lucky enough to attend will be segregated from men and watched over by female police officers, according to Fars news agency.
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One woman said she wanted to hug her ticket and cry. Others painted flags on their cheeks and used their cellphones to document their presence. For the first time in almost four decades, women were allowed to buy tickets and attend a match in Iran. Women started gathering at the stadium several hours before the game, and many were already in their seats two hours before kickoff.
CNN Iranian female soccer fans entered the national stadium for the first time in 40 years Thursday to watch their side thrash Cambodia in Tehran. Government has capped the seats for women at Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. More Videos
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