World

Official: Iran partially lifts ban on women attending men's sports matches

  • FILE - In this June 2, 2014 file photo, an Iranian woman holds an Iranian flag during a ceremony of farewell for the national soccer team ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, at the hall of Azadi (freedom) sports compound in Tehran, Iran. Iranian authorities have partially lifted a ban on women attending men's sports matches, a senior sports official said Saturday, April 4, 2015. The announcement comes after FIFA President Sepp Blatter urged Iran last month to end the "intolerable" ban on women watching football in stadiums. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)

    FILE - In this June 2, 2014 file photo, an Iranian woman holds an Iranian flag during a ceremony of farewell for the national soccer team ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, at the hall of Azadi (freedom) sports compound in Tehran, Iran. Iranian authorities have partially lifted a ban on women attending men's sports matches, a senior sports official said Saturday, April 4, 2015. The announcement comes after FIFA President Sepp Blatter urged Iran last month to end the "intolerable" ban on women watching football in stadiums. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2014 file photo, a soccer fan waves a South Korean flag as South Korean spectators stand below, during a friendly soccer match with Iran at the Azadi, (freedom) stadium in Tehran, Iran. Iranian authorities have partially lifted a ban on women attending men's sports matches, a senior sports official said Saturday, April 4, 2015. In the past, exceptions have been granted to allow foreign women living in Iran to attend matches by their visiting national teams. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

    FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2014 file photo, a soccer fan waves a South Korean flag as South Korean spectators stand below, during a friendly soccer match with Iran at the Azadi, (freedom) stadium in Tehran, Iran. Iranian authorities have partially lifted a ban on women attending men's sports matches, a senior sports official said Saturday, April 4, 2015. In the past, exceptions have been granted to allow foreign women living in Iran to attend matches by their visiting national teams. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2014 file photo, Iranian soccer supporters wave their country's flag while following a friendly match between Iran and South Korea at the Azadi, (freedom) stadium in Tehran, Iran. Iranian authorities have partially lifted a ban on women attending men's sports matches, a senior sports official said Saturday, April 4, 2015. The announcement comes after FIFA President Sepp Blatter urged Iran last month to end the "intolerable" ban on women watching football in stadiums. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

    FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2014 file photo, Iranian soccer supporters wave their country's flag while following a friendly match between Iran and South Korea at the Azadi, (freedom) stadium in Tehran, Iran. Iranian authorities have partially lifted a ban on women attending men's sports matches, a senior sports official said Saturday, April 4, 2015. The announcement comes after FIFA President Sepp Blatter urged Iran last month to end the "intolerable" ban on women watching football in stadiums. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)  (The Associated Press)

A senior Iranian sports official says the country's authorities have partially lifted a ban on women attending men's sports matches.

Deputy Sports Minister Abdolhamid Ahmadi is quoted by the official IRNA news agency Saturday as saying that Iran's State Security Council has approved a plan by his ministry to allow women and families to attend some sports events. Ahmadi cautioned that not all matches or stadiums would allow women, but did not elaborate.

The announcement comes after FIFA President Sepp Blatter urged Iran earlier this year to end the ban on women watching football in stadiums. Women have been banned from attending men's sports matches since the 1979 revolution that brought hard-line Islamic clerics to power. However, Iran has allowed foreign women to attend matches of their national teams.