RIO DE JANEIRO – Iranian sports fan and activist Darya Safai is back at the volleyball venue repeating her message: “Let Iranian Women Enter Their Stadiums.”
After discussions with about a half-dozen venue officials leading up to the Iran men’s team’s match with defending champion Russia, she was allowed to stay Monday and hold her sign.
Two days earlier, she was in tears when security officials told her she would have to leave if she kept it. Olympic officials generally do not allow political statements at the games.
The Olympics have provided the chance for some Iranian women to see a volleyball game for the first time. Women are generally banned from all-male sports events in Iran. This is the first Olympic appearance for the men’s team.
This time, the 35-year-old Safai was told she could hold the sign and wear a T-shirt with a similar message. She sat in a seat that had better visibility for television cameras, even though she paid for a different one. She said she would move if the person who bought the seat came.