All women still banned from Iranian football games

Women of the Islamic Republic of Iran will continued to be barred from attending football games, a reversal of a government liberalisation announcement that comes a month before the national team plays in the FIFA World Cup. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had ruled in April that women would be permitted to go to football games and sit in a separate section of the stands. This was "clarified" within a week to only married women accompanying their families; single women would still be banned and physically prevented from entering stadiums.

Iran's supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who under the Islamic Republic's constitution has the final say on all governance, has now announced his opposition to any relaxation of the womens' oppression. "The president has decided to revise his decision based on the supreme leader's opinion," Iranian government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham confirmed.

See also: Some women may attend football without beating (27 Apr) and UN Security Council on Iran 'not a concern of FIFA' (6 Mar) and AFC urges Iran FA to send its Articles of Association to FIFA (28 Feb) and Iran claims offense over German football cartoon (15 Feb) and Iran still faced with calls for World Cup ban (26 Jan) and German chancellor will "not push to punish" Iran (20 Jan) and Iran bans Korean sponsor over nuclear vote row (14 Nov 05)