Iranian women are believed to have bought 3,500 tickets for Iran’s World Cup qualifying match against Cambodia in Tehran, after authorities assured FIFA the ban on women attending stadiums would be relaxed.
Women have effectively been banned from stadiums when men are playing since just after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Following the death of Sahar Khodayari last month, a week after setting herself on fire while awaiting trial for attempting to attend a match disguised as a man, Iranian authorities met with FIFA officials and informed them to in the aftermath of the death they would look to lift the ban on female supporters attending.
State-run media outlet Ima reported that the 3,500 tickets allocated to women’s sections of Iran’s 78,000 capacity Azadi Stadium sold out within minutes of going on sale.
FIFA stated that it was informed that 4,600 tickets for women would be made available in initial batches, but that it expected more to be put on sale in order to meet significant demand. A delegation will be sent to the match to monitor the access for women too.
The ban on female fans was temporarily lifted last year to allow women to watch World Cup matches being streamed at the Azadi Stadium. A group of women were also permitted to attend the Asian Champions League final second leg.