Thousands of Iranian women watch football match for first time

Tickets for Iran-Cambodia match sell out in minutes after four decades of near-total ban

Female fans support the Iran football team against Cambodia in Tehran. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

More than 3,000 Iranian women have crammed into a special section of a Tehran stadium to watch a World Cup qualifier against Cambodia, after they were allowed to buy match tickets for the first time in four decades.

Fifa and human rights campaigners increased the pressure on Iran’s sports authorities to let women into games after the death of a fan last month.

Sahar Khodayari, 29, set herself on fire outside a stadium after learning she might face six months in jail for trying to sneak into a match, reportedly disguised as a man.

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