Female soccer fans in Iran were taken through a roller coaster of emotions on Wednesday – and all before their team stepped onto the field to play against Spain.

For 38 years, women have been banned from watching men’s sporting events in Iran. But on Tuesday, local news agencies in Iran reported that women would be allowed to watch a live broadcast at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium of the match against Spain. Then, just hours before the doors were set to open, authorities canceled the event.

“Tonight’s match between Iran and Spain will not be broadcasted at Azadi Stadium today due to infrastructure difficulties,” Iran’s Tasnim news agency wrote less than three hours before kickoff. “Since there will be no public broadcast, it is respectfully asked from our dear nationals to avoid going to Azadi Stadium.”

Many fans turned up at the stadium anyway. On Twitter, photos and videos were posted of Iranians sitting, standing and playing vuvuzelas (the plastic horns made famous at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa) in protest. Decked out with Iranian flags, headscarves and other paraphernalia, both female and male soccer fans stared down a row of police blocking the entrance to the stadium.

Finally, after about an hour, the police gave way. The gates were opened and men, women and children who had bought tickets filed in, whipping out their phones and selfie sticks to capture a piece of history. Moments later, the official account of Iran’s national team tweeted a picture of a female fan at Azadi Stadium holding up an Iranian flag. “Azadi Stadium, now!” the tweet said in Farsi.

Iran’s ban on women watching men’s sporting events has long sparked protests, but it became the subject of heated debate in the lead-up to the World Cup.

Earlier this year, Iran publicly reinforced the ban, which was introduced by Iran’s ruling clerics after the 1979 Islamic revolution. In March, 35 women attempting to sneak into Azadi Stadium for a match between two Tehran clubs were detained by authorities. A day later, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who was present at the match, told reporters that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had “promised that women in Iran will have access to football stadiums soon.”

With women finally having entered Azadi Stadium for the first time since the ban, they are hoping that the rules around watching sporting games in Iran will be changed permanently.

“Once spectators have shown their respect for the rules, we hope it will be possible to screen the Iran-Portugal game in the same stadium (on Monday), and that will mark the start of families attending matches played at the Azadi,” Tayebeh Siavoshi, a female member of Iran’s parliament, told the Iranian Students News Agency.

BURGER KING has apologized for offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers to Russian women who get pregnant by World Cup players.

Critics assailed the offer, announced on Russian social media, as sexist and demeaning.

The announcement was removed Tuesday from Burger King’s social media accounts but was still circulating among Russian social network users. It promised a reward of free burgers to women who get “the best football genes” and “ensure the success of the Russian team for generations to come.”

SOME LATIN AMERICAN fans are receiving strong criticism for sexist behavior for posting videos in which they encourage foreign women to say offensive things in languages they don’t appear to understand.

In one of a handful of videos, a group of Brazilian men surround a woman and encourage her to chant with them in Portuguese an offensive word for female anatomy. In another, Colombian fans encourage a woman to repeat offensive things about herself in Spanish. In yet another, fans from Mexico hold a woman up in the air and urge her to use a slang word for a female body part in Spanish.

THE BRAZILIAN soccer federation says FIFA has dismissed its complaint over the use of video review in the team’s World Cup opener against Switzerland.

The federation said FIFA didn’t specifically address the plays contested by Brazil: non-calls on a push inside the area before Switzerland’s equalizer and a penalty on Gabriel Jesus.

It said FIFA reiterated VAR is used only to eliminate clear and obvious mistakes by the officiating crew.

The federation said its request for the audio used by match officials was denied by FIFA, which claimed the decision not to release such recordings was made before the tournament started.