Iran’s Premier League football club Malavan Bandar Anzali FC has asked the authorities’ permission to host female fans in its stadium this week, when the team plays against Tractor FC.
Malavan made the announcement in a statement on April 11 after the president of the Iranian football federation claimed that women in all Iranian cities were now allowed to attend matches.
The club of Bandar Anzali, in northern Iran, said it had sent official letters to the city council and the football federation to request permission for female fans to attend the match at Siros Ghayeghran Stadium.
It cited “the recent interview of the football federation's president,” Medi Taj, and “the provision of proper infrastructure in the stadium” as reasons for the move.
For more than four decades, Iran's clerical establishment has opposed the idea of women being allowed in stadiums with male fans.
A football fan named Sahar Khodayari died in 2019 after setting herself on fire over fears that she would be jailed for trying to attend a match while wearing a disguise.
The incident led football’s world governing body, FIFA, to push for changes in the Islamic Republic’s policy toward women fans.
FIFA has called on Iranian authorities to allow women into football stadiums, but only a restricted number of them have been allowed to attend a few games in recent years.