Iranian women hold first ever indoors football championship
January 28, 20001, Teheran (dpa) - Iranian women are holding their first-ever
indoors football championship in Teheran, the governmental daily Iran reported
More than 20 teams from Teheran and nearby provinces are playing in
the 10-day national championship, which 14 female referees will supervise,
the report said.
The games are held in front of a female-only audience, and no men are
allowed to even enter the Azadi sports complex where the games are being
Iranian women have long struggled for permission to play football and
even wanted to establish their own football federation and national league,
which have still been rejected.
Football is the most popular sport in Iran and interest has now reached
Iranian women, who are obliged to wear a cloak and scarf to cover their
hair and body.
Women sports have been one of the hottest issues in Iran for many years
with female activists searching for religiously acknowledged ways to legalise
In 1998, the senior clergies approved women football in Iran but insisted
no males are allowed in the audience.
Due to the strict dressing code, international sports are nearly impossible
for Iranian women, except in fields such as shooting or chess.
Therefore the Iranian Women Sports Organisation initiated in 1993 the
Islamic Women Olympics, in which women from Islamic countries can compete
in all fields but referees and audience should be female only.