— Linda Hemby (@LindaHemby) August 24, 2015
Soccer is the most popular sport in the Islamic Republic of Iran, but has been kept off-limits to women, who were virtually banned from sports after the revolution there in 1979. A female soccer revival began in futsal clubs in the early 2000’s, after the government agreed to let them play the similar game indoors with their heads covered. The Iranian national women’s team was formed after Jordan invited the country to a match in 2005, and Iranian-American Katayoun Khosrowyar, 27, became the captain of the team in 2008. “[Women’s soccer] just took off,” Khosrowyar told The Wall Street Journal. The team was disqualified from the 2012 Olympics for wearing a head-covering uniform banned by the organization’s international soccer authorities, an event that galvanized support for the movement. Iranian women’s soccer has since taken off (with help, in part, from clips of women being shown playing soccer on state-run television) and Khosrowyar now coaches Iran’s first under-14 girls national team.
Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.