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out whether Iran should

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    February 12, 2020 10:50 PM CST

    Iranian women report they are being barred from attending a major volleyball tournament featuring the Olympic-bound mens national team, reigniting a debate about whether Iran should be allowed to host international matches.Despite a commitment from volleyballs world governing body that women would be able to attend this weekends World League tournament at the Azadi Sport Complex in Tehran, Iranian women who have pushed to make sporting events more open say they havent been able to purchase tickets despite multiple efforts to buy them online.Female fans are traditionally barred from attending male-only sporting events in Iran -- efforts by authorities to enforce strict interpretations of Islamic norms -- but many women are pushing to change that practice.The International Federation of Volleyball, Switzerland-based FIVB, streamed the Argentina-Italy and Iran-Serbia matches Friday, showing a segregated section of women in the stands. It was unclear if the women were members of the general public or invited guests and VIPs. A female announcer handled substitutions during Irans match.FIVB released a statement noting that the Iranian federation said Fridays matches sold out within five minutes, and that 466 of the 5,000 tickets were allotted for a section set aside for women. The area of seats, shown repeatedly on the livestream, didnt appear that large.From the moment tickets became available, the website for sales said the female allotment had been filled, according to several women who say they tried to purchase tickets.Honestly when I saw their `statement, I said, `If FIVB were Pinocchio, their nose was from Lausanne to Tehran. Why they lie this much? said a 32-year-old Iranian female representative from a group called Open Stadiums. She declined to give her name out of concern for retaliation. The Open Stadiums Twitter account identifies itself as A movement of Iranian Women seeking to end discrimination and let women attend stadiums.Tara Sepehri Far, an Iran researcher with Human Rights Watch, has tracked the controversy.Weve been following the case closely and I am disappointed to say that despite FIVBs claims to have assurances from the Iranian Volleyball Federation, the tickets have not been available to women so far, she said in an email to The Associated Press along with a screen shot of the ticket website.Iran rallied to win Fridays match against Serbia in five sets before a wildly enthusiastic standing-room only capacity crowd of 12,000. The home team faces Italy on Saturday.In 2012, the longtime ban on women from soccer matches in Iran was extended to volleyball. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last year called the ban ridiculous and said that nations that are part of international bodies should respect womens rights.FIVB has pushed Iranian officials to make concessions for women. The sports profile is rising in the country, tied to the national teams success.Eighth-ranked Iran qualified for its first Olympic tournament as one of the 12 teams set to play in Rio de Janeiro this August.It is important to emphasize that this is a first step of a long-term campaign to reinstate female spectators at volleyball events in Iran and one which the FIVB is 100 percent committed to, FIVB said in a statement.Our policy is one of engagement and diplomacy to secure inclusion through sport not through the threat of isolation. While we understand that volleyball alone cant enforce change, we appreciate that we have a significant platform for creating dialogue and the FIVB will continue to strive for sports power as an agent for positive change to be fully realized.For a February beach volleyball event at Irans Kish Island, women werent allowed to watch the tournament with FIVB claiming misunderstandings were at the root of the issue. Women then were later allowed to see play from a cafe overlooking the main court.The issue first drew international attention in June 2014, when British-Iranian student Ghoncheh Ghavami was detained when she tried to attend a mens volleyball match at Azadi. She spent more than 100 days in prison, much of it in solitary confinement.The case prompted FIVB President Ary Graca to urge Iranian officials to release her. He told the volleyball federations at the end of their world congress: We never normally seek to interfere with the laws of any country. But in accordance with the Olympic Charter, the FIVB is committed to inclusivity and the right of women to participate in sport on an equal basis.Also, in November 2014, FIVB said Iran would not be chosen to host a boys under-19 world championship in the wake of Ghavamis imprisonment. She was initially sentenced to a year in prison for spreading propaganda before charges were dropped.USA Volleyball board chair Lori Okimura also has been outspoken on the cause.This blatant gender discrimination of not allowing women access to purchase tickets to watch their teams play in Tehran, to me, significantly diminishes the accomplishments of the national teams in the worlds view, she said Thursday.Continuing to award Iran international volleyball events, when this condition is in effect sends the message, loud and clear, that gender discrimination is accepted by the FIVB and its 221 member federations. It is not.The woman from Iran with Open Stadiums watched on television from home Friday night alongside her mother and sister -- eating sunflower seeds and having dinner, not much different from a U.S. baseball game.We always watch because we really like our team. Im sport fan! she said. Usually I watch many sport matches.---AP Sports Writers Anne M. Peterson and Jimmy Golen and Associated Press Writer Nasser Karimi contributed to this report. Andy Pettitte Jersey. -- Edmontons Val Sweeting is two wins away from a trip to Winnipeg to play in Canadas Road of the Rings in December. Nick Nelson Jersey. Manuel was offered a position the day he was fired. He accepted earlier this week and the team made the announcement Friday. Klitschkos management company says the bout will be the Ukrainian fighters 25th world championship fight. The 1.83-meter (6-foot) Leapai defeated the previously unbeaten Denis Boytsov in November to become the WBOs mandatory challenger. Ron Guidry Jersey. Badenhop was 2-3 with a 3.47 ERA in 63 relief appearances for Milwaukee this season. He is 18-20 in his career with three saves and a 3. David Wells Jersey. -- Most satisfying to Russ Smith about No. KANSAS CITY, Mo.-- Coming off back-to-back quality starts, the Seattle Mariners should feel confident going into the third game of the series Saturday against Kansas City.Kansas Citys offense is struggling, and Wade Miley, Seattles starting pitcher on Saturday, has done well almost every time he has faced them.Miley owns a 4-1 career record in five starts against Kansas City with a 2.91 ERA. He joined the Mariners this off-season after pitching for five years with the Diamondbacks and the Red Sox.In his first appearance against Kansas City in a Mariners uniform, he threw his first career shutout, giving up just five hits and striking out four back on April 30 in Seattle.Seattle manager Scott Servais hopes things continue the way they have gone in the first two games of the series.On Thursday, James Paxton threw just 57 pitches through the first seven innings. He had to throw 21 more in the eighth, but still left with a 3-2 lead. Kansas City came back to win 4-3 on a two-run double by Salvador Perez.In Fridays 3-2 win, Hisashi Iwakuma allowed one run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings and Edwin Diaz retired Jarrod Dyson with a runner in scoring position for the final out of the seventh.Our guys did an outstanding job (Friday) Servais said. With Iwakuma and the bullpen we kind of matched them up a bit. It was a nice job by Diaz coming back (in the seventh) after getting down 3-0 on Dyson. He just calmed down and made his pitches. The story of the night is definitely our pitching.Some of the credit or blame must go to the Kansas City offense. Even with a 28-12 home record that is the best, when the bats go silent they go real silent.The Royals are a 14-12 in their 26 games and has showcased the tendencies of an inconsistent offense.In their 14 winss, the Royals have batted .dddddddddddd308 and averaged 5.6 runs. In the 12 losses, Kansas has batted .240 and averaged 2.9 runs.Part of the problem is that Kansas City does not take a lot of pitches. The Royals are last in Major League Baseball in walks with 192 through 86 games. Three American League teams have at least 300 walks.Manager Ned Yost defiantly says its part of his teams DNA.Were an aggressive team, he said. You try to find whats best for your guys and our guys are aggressive guys. If the other guy is throwing strikes, theyre going to be swinging the bat. Sometimes it plays into your game.The other day (Wednesday), I was really impressed with (Torontos Marcus) Stroman. He threw 68 pitches going into the eighth inning. We still found a way to tie the ballgame. We ended up losing the game.Last night it was 57 pitches (by Paxton) going into the eighth. Dang, thats unheard of. But we still found a way to win the ballgame. Its something you cant change. Its what we are, its who we are. When it works its great. When it doesnt, people want to criticize.Yost will be hoping that his starter, Edinson Volquez, can build on a solid start Monday in Toronto. Volquez allowed one run on just three hits in the first six innings before breaking down in the seventh. He left with no outs in the seventh and the bases loaded. All three runners scored.The key will be the first inning. Volquez has allowed 14 earned runs in the first inning of his 18 starts this season (7.00 ERA), while his season ERA is 4.87.Volquez has pitched better at home, where hes 5-3 with a 4.22 ERA in 10 starts. Hes 2-5 with a 5.72 ERA on the road. Wholesale Jerseys ' ' '