The Women of Football: Daring to Dream in Iran | Close Up

Rozma Ghafouri is a woman on a mission.

“I’m trying to eliminate discrimination. Football is a way to communicate. It’s a bridge,” says the 30-year old football manager and coach of the men’s football team, Ariana.

Today, she uses the power of sports to get vulnerable refugee boys off the streets of Iran, out of work, into schools and playing football. 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 children, she and her sisters had to work to support the family.
“No one supported us … Now, I like to be the one to help these kids.”

In a country where women’s participation in football has long been severely restricted – even attending matches has been an issue for more than 40 years – our film follows Rozma and her sisters as they go to extraordinary lengths to manage and coach Ariana.

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