https://t.co/Eciw34LLEp pic.twitter.com/ECX2X9Ucmo — Times of India (@timesofindia) November 29, 2017Iranian media identified the man, who was wearing a Thai sports kit, as the coach of Thailand's team. In a statement, the Iranian federation said the incident was "unjustifiable" and that the man had "violated the rules of host country". The Islamic republic of Iran bans men and the media from attending female sporting events, where strict requirements for women to wear headscarf in public are lifted. A spokesman for the Iranian federation, Abuzar Markalai, told the website Jam-e Jam, that the Thai coach should "apologise for his disrespectful gesture towards women".
Rumours spread on social media Wednesday that the coach had actually been instructed to wear a headscarf, but this was denied by Markalai. There has been mounting pressure to lift restrictions around women and sport in Iran, particularly the ban on women attending men's football matches, which is officially in place to protect them from uncouth behaviour. A similar ban on attending volleyball matches was introduced in 2012, though has been increasingly waived over the past year.
Male Thai coach wears headscarf and sneaks in to attend women match in Iran :) https://t.co/aoCvrCM9kl— Parisa Hafezi (@PHREUTERS) November 29, 2017