Women soccer fans in Iran will have to stay home, out of sight and out of mind for the players, and for the male fans who watch the matches broadcast live in various locations.
Iran has banned women – and families – from attending broadcasts of live soccer matches at public movie theaters. Women are already banned from attending men's soccer games at stadiums.
According to the semi-official ILNA news agency, Islamic clerics and government officials said the presence of women at male sports events was not compatible with Islam.
The news agency said a state police agency that monitors Iranian businesses had called for the ban. “The presence of women and families at movie theaters increases security risks and inappropriate behavior,” the news agency reported.
Amir Hossein Alamalhoda, an official with Iran's movie theater industry, told the semi-official ILNA news agency there was little that management could do about it.
“Movie theaters operate under the authority of the Ministry of Culture and Guidance, so we're waiting for their decision in this matter,” he said.