Golnaz Esfandiari – RFE/RL – Monday 1 September, 2014
Iranian women are free to love sports, as long as they do it in the safety of their own homes.
Female fans got a harsh reminder of this when they attempted to cheer for their men’s soccer and volleyball teams this week.
Women attempting to attend World League volleyball matches being held this month in Tehran learned from the national police chief that their presence “was not in the public interest,” while a female lawmaker argued that women at sporting events was a source of “disrespect and rape in society.”
In an added slight, it was made clear that women and televised World Cup soccer matches were not a good match either — at least not in public. The authorities made that clear by preventing public screenings of the game, which could result in mixed crowds, and putting pressure on cafes and restaurants to not show the games. . .