Iran's volleyball team gave the United States a shock defeat in straight sets in Tehran on Friday evening, but not all Iranians were celebrating as officials upheld a ban on women entering the stadium.
Iranian mascots carried held up a large US flag before the match as the US national anthem was played, drawing polite applause from the 12,000-strong crowd in Tehran's Azadi Indoor Stadium.The home team went on to win the first set 25-19, the second 29-27 and the third 25-20 as the United States team, which had won their previous three World League encounters with Iran, failed to settle into a rhythm. The two teams will play again on Sunday evening.
Very few women could be seen in the stadium, suggesting that an official ban on women attending men's sports matches was still in force despite the efforts of Iranian activists. Some female match officials and foreign supporters could be seen.