‘Change the vision’: Iran Women push to break football barriers amid fan ban

Maryam Irandoost believes her team can close gap to the best and help to ensure female supporters are allowed in stadiumsFemale fans not being allowed inside stadiums has long been the overriding international image when it comes to women and football in Iran and unsurprisingly so. Just over two weeks ago a number of Iranian women tried to get into the Imam Reza Stadium in the north-eastern city of Mashhad to watch the men play their final 2022 World Cup qualifier against Lebanon. They could not see the game – the ban has largely been in place since not long after the 1979 revolution – and then, according to some reports, they were treated to pepper spray by security guards. Despite requests from Fifa, criticism from around the world and calls from the players, authorities have yet to budge.