In a rare move, authorities allowed a select group of women into Azadi stadium to watch a men’s football match in 2018 [File: Vahid Salemi/AP Photo]

Armed with a flag and a horn, Niloufar* is about to do something she has never done.

Come Thursday afternoon, the 36-year-old translator will be setting foot on Tehran’s Azadi Stadium – but she will not be there for the football. Instead, her goal is to claim a “simple and basic right” as for the first time since the establishment of the Islamic republic in 1979, Iranian authorities have allowed women to buy tickets to attend a men’s football match.

“I can’t deny how happy I am to finally be able to go to the stadium, and I

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