Women in Iran are pinning their hopes on Hassan Rohani to pass what would be a sweeping reform in the Islamic Republic – allowing them to enter a soccer stadium.

The issue is not minor in a country where an Iranian sports journalist told Turkey’s Hurriyet News, “In terms of freedom of expression, football stadiums are nearly as important as the Internet in Iran now.”

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Rohani’s predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad found out the hard way that allowing women to enter a soccer stadium is frowned upon by Muslim clerics. He announced in 2006 that women could go the stadium, especially when it comes to lavishing praise on the national team after a victory over an enemy, such as the United States.

Has was forced to back down after leading clerics vehemently objected to allowing men and women to come so close together in a public place.

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