The Women of Football: Daring to Dream in Iran | Close Up | Qatar World Cup 2022
In Iran, women cannot enter stadiums as spectators, but these Afghan sisters dream of a sideline position as coaches.
Rozma Ghafouri is a woman on duty.
“I am trying to eliminate discrimination. Football is a way to communicate. It’s a bridge,” said 30-year-old soccer manager and men’s soccer team coach, Ariana.
Today, she uses the power of sport to get vulnerable refugee boys on the streets of Iran, without work, to school and to play soccer.
She and her sisters work with young refugees and undocumented Afghans, children who remind them of their own past.
Ghafouri fled Afghanistan as a young girl with her family when the Taliban took control of the country in 1996. As a child, she and her sisters had to work to support the family.
“No one supports us… Now, I want to be the one to help these children.”
In a country where women’s participation in football has long been severely restricted – even attending matches has been a problem for over 40 years – our film follows Rozma and her sisters as they go to great lengths to manage and train Ariana.
A movie by Katayoun Arsanjani
Cinematography: Gelareh Kiazand
Audio: Babak Akhavan
Local producer: Sara Eslamie
Editors: Arash Zahedi & Antonia Perello
EP: Tierney Bonini