„It is an inappropriate situation when men and women watch football in (movie) theatres together,“ said Bahman Kargar, Iran’s deputy police commander in charge of social affairs, according to the ISNA news agency.
„Men, while watching football, get excited and sometimes utter vulgar curses or tell dirty jokes,“ he said. „It is not within the dignity of women to watch football with men. Women should thank the police“ for the ban.
The Euro 2012 games underway in Poland and Ukraine are being aired on state television in football-mad Iran.
They are also being shown in movie theatres as a continuation of a practice that became popular for couples and families during the 2010 World Cup and the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. Many among Iran’s hardline authorities and clerics favour segregation of the sexes and find the mingling of unrelated men and women to be corrupting.