Monthly Archives: October 2019

40 years Restriction on Iranian Women Uplifted They can now watch live football in the Stadium.


Iranian women fans are free to enter a football stadium Thursday for the first time in decades after Fifa threatened to suspend the Islamic republic over its controversial male-only policy.

Iran has barred female spectators from football and other stadiums for around 40 years, with clerics arguing they must be shielded from the masculine atmosphere and sight of semi-clad men.

World football's governing body Fifa last month ordered Iran to allow women access to stadiums without restrictions and in numbers determined by the demand for tickets.

The directive came after a fan dubbed “Blue Girl” died after setting herself on fire in fear of being jailed for dressing up as a boy in order to attend a match.

Women were quick to get their hands on tickets to attend Iran's 2022 World Cup qualifier against Cambodia at Tehran's Azadi Stadium on Thursday.

The first batch sold out in under an hour, and additional seats were also snapped up in short order, state media said.

A sports ministry official said the 100,000-capacity stadium — whose name means “Freedom” in Farsi — was ready to host even more women.

3,500 WOMEN

One of the 3,500 women to have secured a ticket was Raha Poorbakhsh, a football journalist.

“I still can't believe this is going to happen because after all these years of working in this field, watching everything on television, now I can experience everything in person,” she told AFP.

But Poorbakhsh said she was aware of many other women without tickets and some were expected to travel from as far away as Ahvaz in southern Iran in the hope of still getting one.

Those lucky enough to attend will be segregated from men and watched over by 150 female police officers, according to Fars news agency.

People on the streets of Tehran said they supported the decision to allow women into stadiums.

“I would like there to be freedom for women, as men, to go free and even sit side by side without any restrictions, like other countries,” said a woman who only gave her name as Hasti.

Nader Fathi, who runs a clothing business, said the presence of women could improve the atmosphere in stadiums.

But he said “they will regret it” if they are exposed to “really bad swear words” and “bad behavior”.

The bumpy road Iranian women have traveled in order to gain free access to stadiums has not been without tragedy.


Sahar Khodayari died last month after setting herself ablaze outside a court in fear of being jailed for attending a match.

Dubbed “blue girl” because of the colors of the club she supported, Esteghlal FC, she had reportedly been detained last year when trying to enter a stadium dressed as a boy.

Her death sparked an outcry, with many calling on Fifa to ban Iran and for fans to boycott matches.

Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili at the time dismissed reports she had been told she would be jailed for six months as “fabricated rumors and hearsay”.

And Khodayari's father told Mehr news agency that she did not “sacrifice” herself for any cause.

Ahead of Qatar 2022, Iran has come under pressure from Fifa to allow women to attend this round of World Cup qualifiers.

The ban on women in stadiums is not written into law or regulations, but it has been strictly enforced.

Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, women have only had rare access to stadiums in Iran.

About 20 Irish women attended a World Cup qualifier in 2001, and four years later a few dozen Iranian women were allowed to watch the national “Team Melli” take on Bahrain.

In October, as many as 100 Iranian “handpicked” women entered Azadi for a friendly against Bolivia.

But the day after, the prosecutor general warned there would be no repeat, saying it would “lead to sin”.

The issue has been divisive in Iran.

The reformist camp has welcomed the decision to allow women into Thursday's match, while conservatives have argued that football is not a priority for women.

The Donya-e-Eqtesad financial newspaper called it “a step to weaken a taboo and also free Iran's football of the looming shadow of Fifa's punishment”.

But the ultraconservative Keyhan daily said women were more concerned about economic issues.

“There are many girls still single and at home, afraid of the cost of marriage. The government should be thinking of this, not sending them to stadiums,” it quoted a mother as saying.


Elumelu to Japan: Partner with us in Empowering African Entrepreneurs


Chairman of Heirs Holdings and Founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony Elumelu, has charged the Japanese Government to invest five per cent of its $50 billion commitment to Africa in empowering African entrepreneurs.

Elumelu, who stated this at the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7) in Yokohama, urged Japan to learn from the example of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, which champions empowering African entrepreneurs, as the most sustainable means of accelerating the development of Africa.

The Tony Elumelu Foundation in just five years has assisted over 7,500 African entrepreneurs across every African country, with seed capital, capacity building, mentorship and networking opportunities through its $100 million Entrepreneurship Programme.

“At TICAD 2016 in Kenya, Japan pledged $30 billion for Africa. This year you have generously increased this to $50 billion. If we invested just five per cent in Africa’s new generation of entrepreneurs, following my Foundation’s robust, proven…

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IMF, World Bank to Buhari: Your Claims on Economic Recovery Not True


World Bank and International Monetary Fund Wednesday faulted Nigeria’s economic recovery claim, and listed Nigeria among some African countries with weak economic recovery.

The World Bank’s stand was contained in the 20th edition of Africa’s Pulse, World Bank’s twice-yearly economic update for the region.

“Beyond Sub-Saharan Africa’s regional averages, the picture is mixed. The recovery in Nigeria, South Africa, and Angola—the region’s three largest economies—has remained weak and is weighing on the region’s prospects.

“In Nigeria, growth in the non-oil sector has been sluggish, while in Angola the oil sector remained weak. In South Africa, low investment sentiment is weighing on economic activity.

“Excluding Nigeria, South Africa, and Angola, growth in the rest of the subcontinent is expected to remain robust although slower in some countries,” World Bank said.

On its own part, IMF noted that economic outlook for Nigeria under the current policies of government remained challenging.

IMF, in…

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Is PMB Really Taking A New Bride Tomorrow?


The social media has been trending lately with the alleged rumors of president Muhammadu Buhari taking a new bride in the person of Hajiya Sadiya Umar Faruk.

The said M’s Farouk is the Minister of Humanitarian Services and Disaster Management, who was said to have wormed her way to the president’s heart some year ago.

Although in another story, it was alleged that a cabal in the Aso Villa is the mastermind behind the union, which according to the story, they have lost confidence in the wife of the president Aisha Buhari.

Meanwhile, ever since the trending story broke, neither the president nor the said bride to come out to debunk the story. Now the big question on the lips of most Nigerians is of the president is truly taking a second wife tomorrow? Only time will tell, we watch as the event unfold.