Imagine you are a woman living in Iran, a country whose laws discriminate against you in numerous areas, such as employment, family rights, dress code, human rights, just to name a few.
On top of that, imagine being interested in football, a sport which the regime does not allow Iran’s women to watch in stadiums.
On top of that imagine you surpass all the discriminations and you make it to the country’s Futsal team (five- a-side indoor football). But to leave the country to take part in international games, you must have your husband’s permission. Without it, you can not leave the country, no matter how good you are. This is what happened to Niloufar Ardalan, the Captain of the Iran’s women Futsal team.
On top of that imagine having to play Futsal while being forced to wear the Hijab and to have your entire body covered while you play. You are given no choice in the matter. Imagine the choking, stifling heat which you would suffer. Meanwhile, your international opponents are not subjected to the same discomfort, thus enabling them to focus on their game more.
Now imagine taking part in the recent Asian Football Confederation’s Futsal cup.
Then imagine overcoming all these obstacles, and beating all your opponents to win the cup.
NOW STOP IMAGINING, BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY!!!!
Congratulation to the people of Iran and to Iran’s women especially. If they can achieve so much under so many restrictions, just imagine what they could achieve if one day the are given equal opportunities and a level playing field, something which they deserve.
Here are the highlights of the final match: