Iranian women and girls were attacked and sprayed with pepper gas instead of being allowed into the stadium to watch a football match.
The misogynistic clerical regime prevented women and girls from entering the Imam Reza Stadium in Mashhad on March 29, 2022. The women had legally purchased tickets to watch the football match between the national teams of Iran and Lebanon. (The state-run Asriran.com, March 30, 2022)
According to reports, officials prevented women from entering the stadium despite selling tickets to women. Videos posted on social media show the State Security Force (SSF) spraying pepper gas on the heads and faces of women and girls trying to enter the stadium.
Under FIFA and AFC rules, sports officials have no right to prevent women from entering the stadium.
The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) strongly condemns the mullahs’ regime for barring women and girls from entering the Imam Reza Stadium in Mashhad and attacking them with pepper gas.
Director-General of the Department of Sports and Youth of Khorasan Razavi Province, Ali Akbar Hashemi Javaheri, said, “As you are aware, the number of spectators and other issues are coordinated in such competitions from Tehran. We were the executors of the decisions taken in Tehran. It was decided that the game be held in this manner at the last moment.” (The state-run Asriran.com, March 30, 2022)
Mojtaba Tavangar, a member of the mullahs’ parliament, wrote on Twitter, “The girls bought tickets to watch football, but their share was the pepper gas! These measures cost the country at home and abroad.”
Some social media users criticized the Ministry of Sports’ decision. They said the measure foiled the regime’s attempt to deceive FIFA by pretending to allow women into the stadium.
The football match between the national teams of Iran and Lebanon was held on the evening of Tuesday, March 29, 2022. This sports match was one of Qatar’s qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup, which ended in a 2-0 victory for Iran.
Earlier, on October 12, 2021, a football match between the teams of Iran and North Korea was held at Azadi Stadium without any spectators. To prevent women’s entry into the stadium, the regime banned all spectators from entering Azadi Stadium using the excuse of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Blue Girl
Two years ago, on October 10, 2019, the clerical regime allowed a selected and minimal number of women into the stadium to watch the Iran-Cambodia game. The measure came on the heels of the self-immolation of Sahar Khodayari, also known as the Blue Girl, in September 2019. Sahar had been arrested by the State Security Force and sentenced to six months in prison for attempting to enter the stadium.
The World Football Federation (FIFA) must stand by Iranian women under international standards and respect women’s rights in this field. FIFA should boycott the Iranian regime for preventing women from entering the stadium.