2019 Photo Contest, Sports, 1st Prize

Crying for Freedom


Forough Alaei

14 December, 2018

A young woman attends a national football match disguised as a man, at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran, Iran. She risks arrest by going.

In Iran, there are restrictions on female fans entering football stadiums. As football is the nation’s most popular sport, the ban has been a controversial public issue. On 1 March 2018, FIFA president Gianni Infantino met with the president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, to address the issue. Social-media groups also put the president under pressure, and on 20 June a ruling allowed Tehran’s Azadi Stadium to admit selected groups of women for international matches.The concession to women fans applied only to international matches, and after a senior judicial officer objected in October, it was withdrawn. On 10 November, the FIFA president, who was attending the AFC Cup match in Tehran, asked to be shown that women were being allowed to attend. A selection of women was permitted to enter, though many others were barred. 

About the photographer

Forough Alaei

Forough Alaei was born in 1989 in Iran, where she studied law. She was also a keen painter.  When undertaking her undergraduate studies, she began to recognize&...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
4 mm
Canon EOS 6D

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