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Iranian women disguised as men to watch football

Iranian women disguised as men to watch football

- Iran women disguised as men to gain entry into the stadium and watch their team play

- Though, not under any restriction according to the Iranian law, it appears not right for women to be seen at match venues

- While in February, women were allowed into major Basketball games but seated separately from the men at the arena

Some Iranian women have shown how far they can go just to watch their darling team Persepolis play the game of football.

The Branko Ivankovic-led team thrashed their arch rivals Sepidrood at the Azadi stadium in Tehran last Friday, after losing 2-1 to Zob Ahan in the previous game.

Wearing beards and wigs, those women pretended to be men in a bid to stand a chance of watching their team in Tehran last Friday. Meanwhile, the images of these female fans at the stadium have gone viral on social media.

Though, women in that country are not under any restriction to watch live matches, it is just uncommon for them as they are denied entry most of the time.

Before the advent of the Islamic revolution of 1979, women were allowed to attend sporting events, but in February, they were allowed to watch basketball game in Tehran - but they had to sit in an area separate to men.

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Iranian women disguised as men to watch football

Iranian women disguised as men - Photos: BBC

In an interview with the moderate newspaper Iran, one of the women who was pictured revealed that Friday was the third time she had pulled off the trick, she explained that each time she had sneaked in she had used a different disguise and make-up.

"I Google for different makeup [tutorials] and learn new ways and apply them to go to the stadium," she said.

She further revealed that she had been stopped by security only once. She encouraged other women to get in touch and offered to train them in disguise techniques.

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Iranian women disguised as men to watch football

One of the women disguised as men - Photos: BBC

Asked whether she was ever scared of being detained, she replied: "Why should I be scared? We women do not commit any crimes by going to stadiums.

"The law has not defined women's presence at stadiums as a crime. They have, of course, detained a few women and they have given a written promise not to go back there again."

The photos from the game were initially shared on the women's personal social media accounts. Most of the responses they received were encouraging.

"Good on you. That takes such bravery," read one comment.

Iranian women disguised as men to watch football

Iranian woman at the match venue - Photos: BBC

But not everyone was happy. "Why won't you go and watch a women's match? Why would you have to go to a men's stadium?" asked another.

Another of the women present was asked by the sports newspaper Khabar Varzeshi how she had avoided the security guards.

She said: "We went through the first and second gates in a group, and no-one figured it out. But once we sat in the stands, everyone realised.

"They came over and took selfies with us, praising us for going. Another interesting thing is all of those who knew we were women did not shout anything rude throughout the match."

She added a few men had accompanied the group to make sure they were OK.

When asked if it had been worth the risk, she replied: "Of course, why not?

"Our goal is to keep going until they allow all women to go. We are doing this to say to the authorities that if they don't let us in, we will keep going nonetheless, with or without beards."

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