As the eighth Women’s World Cup was being started in France on June 7, 2019, female football fans were punched and beaten by security guards outside the famous Azadi Stadium in Tehran for seeking to watch the game between the national teams of Iran and Syria.
The Women’s World Cup kicked off with nine teams from Europe, six teams from Asia and Australia, six teams from North and South America, and three teams from Africa. Female football players of Iran did not participate despite winning the championship games in Asia.
Female football players lack any form of private or public support in Iran. The restrictions imposed on them have worsened their situation. For example, they cannot attract any nongovernmental or private sponsors, because women’s sports are not broadcast by the state television networks, a situation which has brought about grave consequences for them. Sometimes the teams have been completely disbanded, and occasionally teams have not been able to travel to participate in a tournament.
Most recently, on May 25, 2019, male security guards entered the locker room of female football players in Shiraz and attacked them verbally and physically.
Female football players in Iran are deprived of all forms of support, but even watching the football games are still forbidden for Iranian women.
Women who had bought tickets to watch the game between the national teams of Iran and Syria, were brutalized on Thursday, June 6, 2019, in Tehran, outside the west gate of Azadi Stadium and taken into custody while Syrian women were allowed into the stadium and watched and encouraged their national team without having to cover their hair!
In an apparently duplicitous effort to curry favor with FIFA, the official website of the Football Federation (http://ticket.ffiri.ir) had offered to sell tickets to all those interested to watch the game. A number of women had managed to procure tickets to their surprise but on Tuesday, June 4, 2109, women were no longer able to buy tickets from the website. And on Thursday, those women who held tickets, were violently driven away.
Women have been banned from entering sports stadiums since the clerical regime seized power in Iran.