First Published: 2003-10-15

Iran's female football back with restrictions!

Guarded outdoor comeback for Iran's female football team but only women will be watching their games.


Middle East Online

Only women can watch

TEHRAN - Iranian female footballers are to make their first outdoor appearance for nearly 25 years next week, although only fellow women will be able to watch them treading the pitch in shorts and jerseys, an organiser of the event said Wednesday.

The head of the Iranian Women's Football Association, Khadijeh Sepanchi, said two amateur teams will play in the 30,000 seat Takhti stadium, east of Tehran.

"Only women can watch, since the players are going to be dressed in the standard football clothes," she said, adding that organisers hoped the event would pave the way for further competitive outings.

"FIFA and the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) should help us find a solution for the clothing, because Iranian women want to participate in this field," she said.

After Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, most sports requiring skimpy dress - such as swimming and gymnastics - were ruled off-limits for women, although in recent years some sporting restrictions have been eased.

Footballing activities for women are currently limited to futsal - an indoor variation of the sport. Sepanchi said about 4,700 women play the sport in football-mad Iran.

Under the Islamic laws in force in Iran, women can only show their faces and hands to unrelated males. They are also forbidden from showing off the shape of their figures.


10 killed in Toronto “deliberate” van attack

Yemen Huthi political leader killed in coalition raid

Rouhani warns Trump against betraying nuclear deal

Saudi king to launch 'entertainment city'

Iraq’s ex-football stars from sports to politics

Syria's Idlib 'big new challenge' for international community

UNRWA chief says Palestinian aid $200 million short since Trump cuts

Bad memories resurface at Raqa’s mass grave

Turkey newspaper chief slams journalist terror trial

Setback for Yemen rebels after strike takes out leader

Saudi issues Islamic sukuk sale to finance deficit

Yarmuk, an epicentre of Syria's bloody conflict

Egypt’s Eurobond succeeds but risks remain

Egypt former anti-corruption chief gets five years jail

Philippines apologises to Kuwait over 'maid rescues'

Iran urges EU not to pay Trump ‘ransom’ over nuclear deal

UAE to finance project to rebuild Mosul's Grand al-Nuri Mosque

EU, UN begin major conference for Syria aid

New tensions rise between old rivals Turkey and Greece

Nine people killed in Toronto van attack

Syria security chief refuses Lebanon court appearance

Air raid kills dozens at Yemen wedding

Algeria draws Europe’s ire by cutting imports, boosting trade with China

Russia says no decision yet on delivery of S-300 missiles to Syria

French MPs adopt controversial immigration bill

Qatar Airways ‘robust’ despite large losses

IS threatens to attack Iraqi polling station

Jordan sounds the alarm over rising online crimes

Yemen forces clash with jihadists in Taez

Paris attacks suspect gets 20 years over Brussels shootout

Jailed Egyptian photographer wins UN press freedom prize

14 Saddam-era officials still jailed in Iraq

Gaza death toll rises to 40 as Palestinian dies of wounds

HRW says African migrants face rape, torture in Yemen

Four British pilgrims killed in Saudi road crash

HRW warns Egypt fight against IS threatens humanitarian crisis

Iran, Israel trade blame for surge in hostilities over Syria

Iran vows to resume enrichment if US quits nuclear deal

UAE accuses Qatari jets of ‘chasing’ passenger flight

Israel rubbishes claims Mossad behind Malaysia assassination

Syrian refugees are not going home anytime soon

Resumption of direct flights from Moscow brings hope to Egypt’s tourism sector

Saudi finalises drone regulation after security alarm

Will Lebanon have more women MPs after May 6 poll?

Saudi shoots down ‘toy drone’