Iran player dodges question on women's rights at World Cup

People supporting Iranian women are holding a banner at the stands during the group B match between Morocco and Iran at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Women's rights remain a sensitive issue within the Iran team at the World Cup

KAZAN, Russia — Women's rights are a sensitive issue within the Iran team at the World Cup.

Masoud Shojaei was evasive during his team's news conference Tuesday when the midfielder was asked what he thought of Iranian women in stadiums in Russia.

"With all due respect for you and your question, we are not just a team. We are a family, and it's our nation which is playing on the pitch," Shojaei said. "If you want to talk about this issue, this is an internal issue that we prefer to solve problems within our family."

Women have been prohibited from attending men's games and other sports fixtures in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution. A partial exception to the ban on women was made in June 2015 when a small number were allowed to watch volleyball in Tehran.

Iranian fans attending their team's opening game in St. Petersburg last week unfurled banners protesting against the ban.

You may also like these

Boys rescued from Thai cave play friendly match...

Oct 7, 2018

The 12 boys and soccer coach from Thailand who were found in a partially flooded cave are again...

Liverpool beats A-League champions 3-0 before...

May 24, 2017

With retired greats Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher in the lineup, Liverpool beat Sydney FC 3-0...

Australia to host Syria in Sydney in World Cup...

Sep 6, 2017

Sydney to host World Cup qualifier between Australia and Syria on Oct. 10

After getting Australia to Russia, coach's future...

Nov 15, 2017

Ange Postecoglou ensured Australia qualified for the World Cup, yet the coach is not quite sure if...

New coach thinks Australia can survive World Cup...

Feb 1, 2018

New coach Bert van Marwijk is confident Australia can qualify from its World Cup group stage and...

Sign up now!