The head of Iran’s Volleyball Federation says women should not be barred from watching volleyball games in stadiums, adding that such actions reflect negatively on the country.

Mammoud Afshardoost pointed out to ILNA that female employees of the federation have been permitted to enter the stadium.

On Sunday June 15, more than 50 women were prevented from entering Azadi Stadium in Iran to watch the volleyball game between Iran and Brazil.

Saba Sherdoost, an Iranian reporter who was one of the women turned away from the stadium on Sunday, was quoted as saying that the volleyball federation is “obligated to let women enter the stadium and cannot deny women this right.”

“This prohibition is not only discriminatory but also a lawless act, since many cars full of Brazilian women were allowed to enter the stadium and only Iranian women were kept out,” Sherdoost said.