Iranian female fans were for the first time in about 40 years allowed to watch the men’s national team play a World Cup qualifier in Tehran on Thursday.
Close to 3500 of them were granted entry into Azadi Stadium to watch the clash against Cambodia which Iran won 14-0.
However, they were restricted to a women’s only section in the stadium.
FIFA, football’s global body, hailed the move to allow women into the stadium to watch a men’s game as a “positive step forward” and as “the beginning of a journey” of progress.
“This is a very positive step forward, and one which FIFA, and especially Iranian girls and women, have been eagerly waiting for,” FIFA said in a statement.
“History teaches us that progress comes in stages and this is just the beginning of a journey,” FIFA added.
Pressure has been mounting on Iran to stop discrimination against female fans in the country and allow them into stadiums to watch all matches.
FIFA and other interest groups stepped up the campaign last month when a female fan set her self on fire after being arrested for attempting to enter a stadium disguised as a man. She later died.