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Iran keeps vetoing women in stadiums despite controversy over the death of a young woman

September 11, 2019

TEHERAN, 11 Sep. (DPA / EP) –

Iran intends to maintain the prohibition that women can attend sporting events in stadiums despite criticism caused after the death of a young woman who set herself on fire to protest not being able to watch a football game, a government official said Wednesday .

“In the current circumstances, the presence of women in the stadiums is not recommended,” said the head of cabinet of the country's president, Mahmoud Vaezi, quoted by the Mehr news agency.

In Iran, women have been banned from attending football matches in stadiums for four decades. This Tuesday a young woman died who had set herself on fire in protest for not being able to see her favorite football team, which has generated a wave of protests.

According to Vaezi, although the Government does not raise objections in principle, the “requirements of morality” must be put in place, something that still does not happen since the men who go to the stadiums continue to make “vulgar insults.” Such an environment is not suitable for Islamic women, said Hasan Rohani's chief of staff.

The deceased girl wanted to watch a game of her team, Esteghlal Tehran, and tried to enter the men's stadium but was arrested and sentenced to six months in jail for insulting a police officer. In protest of his conviction, the 30-year-old woman set herself on fire.

His death has caused criticism and protests in social networks against the Police and the judicial system. The captain of the national soccer team, Masud Shojaei, has spoken of “misfortune” while his 'number two', Ashkan Dejagah, asked the authorities to rethink his position. “When will you finally stop these things? Enough is enough,” the player wrote on Instagram.