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.


Iraq dismisses US call for Iranian-backed militias to 'go home'

Opposition calls on Iraqi Kurd leader to step down

IS ‘executed’ 116 suspected of Syria regime collaboration

Israel arrests 51 Palestinians for ‘terror-related’ crimes

Greening the Camps brings food and hope to refugees

UNICEF says 1,100 children malnourished in Syria’s Ghouta

UN says Yemen children in desperate need of aid

Orthodox Jews block Jerusalem entrance in protest

Six terror suspects arrested in Morocco

EU announces 106 million euros in aid for Sudan

French judges to rule on whether 'Jihad' is acceptable name

Saudi Aramco chief confirms IPO despite doubts

Lack of accountability hinders governing in Morocco, analysts say

Sudan editor convicted after Bashirs accused of graft

Russia’s Lavrov urges Iraq-Kurd dialogue

Kurds to arrest 11 Iraqis in response to similar Baghdad move

Car bomb attack kills 9 in south Yemen military base

Rouhani boasts about Iran’s greatness in region

Iraq unrest highlights long-standing political divisions

Bahrain temporarily frees female activist

Egypt court sentences 11 people to death for 'terrorism'

Israel police arrest 15 over anti Jewish-Arab dating campaign

Tillerson woos Gulf allies to curb Iran influence

Abadi, Sadr meet in Jordan

No clear US strategy in Syria after Raqqa liberation

Tillerson pushes to undercut Iran at landmark Saudi, Iraq meeting

Gulf share values plummet

US-backed forces capture key Syria oil field

More than half of Austrians vote for anti-immigration party

Washington sees potential Hezbollah threat in the US

UN ends Libya talks with no progress made

Cairo killing sparks security concerns among Copts

Iraq PM arrives in Saudi to upgrade ties

35 Egyptian police killed in Islamist ambush

Morocco recalls Algeria envoy over 'hashish money' jibe

Ceremony marks 75 years since WWII Battle of El Alamein

Somalia attack death toll rises to 358

Long road ahead for families of jailed Morocco protesters

How Raqa recapture affects complex Syrian war

Israel hits Syrian artillery after Golan fire

Germany advances Israel submarine deal after corruption holdup

Bashir Gemayel's killer convicted, 35 years later

SDF hails 'historic victory' against IS in Raqa

Hamas delegation visits Iran

Turkish court orders release of teacher on hunger strike