Women In Iran Defy The Ban And Bravely Watch The World Cup With Men In Public

Who knew soccer could be used to make a social statement?

As the World Cup continues to excite game fanatics and fair-weathered fans alike, women in Iran refuse to be excluded from their country's exciting festivities surrounding the matches. Intentionally or not, they're making a strong political play of their own.

Although Iranian authorities banned women from entering the majority of sporting events following the 1979 Islamic Revolution because co-ed crowds were deemed in contradiction of strict moral and social codes, Iranian women are now refusing to follow the 35-year precedent.

Some restaurants and bars in Tehran are reportedly supporting this move by opening their doors to men and women alike who want to watch World Cup games together.

Although country authorities warned establishments against allowing women inside to watch, requesting that these places don't broadcast the games in general, there's a group of men and women who clearly don't see the harm in a joint-viewing of a soccer game.

The experience of watching together has led many people to question the overall sporting events ban.

Negar Valayi, who watched one game with women and men, said:

100 percent it's better this way. It doesn't happen often. It would be great if we have more of this.

CNN has obtained footage of some of the places where men and women can watch together in Tehran, but there's no word on if Iranian authorities are aware of these activities, or whether they'll punish those whom they deem in violation of the state-wide ban.

via CNN