FIFA Chief: Iranian President Rouhani Pledged Women Will Get Access to Stadiums

FIFA Chief: Iranian President Rouhani Pledged Women Will Get Access to Stadiums

Iranian women are, however, allowed to attend female football matches.

The FIFA President invited the Iranian Sports Minister and the President, Hassan Rouhani, to attend the opening ceremony of the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

Women's rights activists stated that the ban was an infringement of women's basic rights, mocked the hypocrisy of "naming a stadium freedom but banning half the population from entering", and said the protest was "the best chance to break the [39]-year-old taboo".

"I have received pledges that women in Iran will soon be given access to football stadiums", FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, told a conference on football equality and inclusion in Zurich.

An Esteghlal player fires a shot against the Persepolis goalkeeper as two of Iran's fiercest rival football teams met at Azadi Stadium in Tehran, March 1, 2018.

Soltanifar asked Infantino to deal with this issue in conjunction with the Asian Football Confederation so that Iran could organise matches without the need to play in a neutral third country.

It would be recalled that 35 Iranian women seeking to watch a game between local teams Esteqlal and Persepolis, which was attended by Infantino, were denied entry to the stadium.

There was no immediate Iranian comment on Infantino's remarks.

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He has the power to suspend the Iranian Football Federation and prevent Iran from taking part in the World Cup if the ban on women attending matches is not lifted.

"The people of Iran, like any other nation, have the right to cheer their teams at their stadiums, and we, as the global federation of football, will try to defend this right", Infantino added.

It follows Saudi Arabia announcing it would lift a ban on women entering three sports stadiums in the country from 2018 in October previous year.

Federation Internationale de Football Association said it was aware that the visit was politically sensitive but stood by dialogue as the best way to effect change in the Islamic republic.

The group was spotted even though some of them were dressed as men.

Middle East editor Alan Johnston wrote the female football fans wanted to attract the attention of the most powerful man in world football in an article for the British public broadcaster.

"We will focus our efforts on entertaining the football masses, whether they were in Iran, Saudi Arabia or wherever in the world", he added. News site IranWire quoted him last December as telling students during a lecture that the presence of women in stadiums "inevitably" leads to morally corrupt acts.

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