Iranian Woman Celebrates Her First Time at a Professional Sports Game

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Photo: Matt Rourke

Sajedeh Norouzi, a 27-year-old woman from Iran who is living in Brazil with her husband for a stint of study, attended her first-ever professional volleyball match on Sunday night. In her home country of Iran, women are banned from attending all-male professional sports events, and though the Iranians lost to Argentina, Norouzi told the AP that she couldn’t be happier to be there.

“We want to go to the stadium because the government doesn’t allow us to. I want to cheer my team!” she said, sitting with her husband, and explained that being there was one way of sending a message to all the women out there who were banned from attending games. In 2014, a 25-year-old British-Iranian woman named Ghoncheh Ghavami was arrested for attempting to enter an all-male volleyball game in Iran. She was sentenced to a year in jail and a two-year travel ban.