Tehran: Iranian women have just watched a FIFA soccer match kick off after being freely allowed into a stadium for the first time in decades. Iran was facing Cambodia in the 2022 World Cup qualifier being held at Tehran's Azadi Stadium.
But the match took 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 followed 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.