Iranian women at world Cup spark social media jibe

Al Arabyia
Photos of Iranian women cheering for their team at the World Cup in Brazil went viral on social media this week, and garnered a host of comments on social media about the way in which the women were dressed.

“Iran v Nigeria. female Iran fans wearing the opposite of the hijab, Brazil style -- but furiously waving the flag of the Islamic Republic,” tweeted BBC’s Jeremy Bowen.

The football-loving Iranian women appeared well turned out at their national team’s match against Nigeria on Monday, despite warnings from hardline parliamentarians that women should be dressed conservatively in public.

Some conservative Iranian officials warned fans travelling to Brazil to avoid actions deemed “not compatible” with the values of the Islamic republic.
Iranian media reports also said a parliament committee sent one of its members to Brazil to monitor the behavior of Iranian fans.  However, pictures posted on social media suggest that diehard Iranian fans have kicked aside the warnings, vowing to enjoy the World Cup festivities. The pictures sparked reactions on social media platforms.

“Weird watching #Iran's fans in their fancy western dress code and their Islamic republic flag. Another irony from my part of the world,” tweeted Egyptian writer Nervana Mahmoud.

There have been several restrictions imposed on Iranian football fans inside the Islamic Republic too. Cafes and restaurants have been informed by Iranian police that screening World Cup games in public is no longer allowed, and they have reportedly been told to prevent men and women from mixing.

It was reported earlier that Iranian President Hassan Rowhani has ordered “an official investigation into whether women should be allowed to attend men’s football matches, a practice currently forbidden under the country’s Islamic laws,” the Telegraph said.

Al Arabyia, 18/06/2014