Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

13.41 19 Sep 2019


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The international football governing body FIFA has told Iran it must allow women into football stadiums.

Women in Iran are not permitted to watch men's football matches in stadiums, due to a ban that has been in place since the 1980s.

While the rule is not written into law, the Human Rights Watch group says it is "ruthlessly enforced" by Iranian authorities.

In a statement today, the FIFA President said he's hopeful Iran will be receptive to the "repeated calls to address this unacceptable situation".

Gianni Infantino explained: "I contacted them several times in the recent past and so has the FIFA administration. We have a delegation of FIFA members in Iran at the moment and I am looking forward to hearing good news from them.

"Our position is clear and firm. Women have to be allowed into football stadiums in Iran."

He added: "We understand there are steps and processes that need to be taken before this is done in a proper and safe way but now is the moment to change things and FIFA is expecting positive developments starting in the next Iran home match in October."

Activists in Iran and around the world have repeatedly called for the stadium ban to be lifted, with some women dressing up as men when trying to enter stadiums.

Earlier this month, a demonstrator who was facing a possible trial over the stadium ban died after setting herself on fire outside a courthouse.

The 29-year-old woman named Sahar - widely known as the 'blue girl' after the colours of her favourite team - had been arrested while trying to enter a Tehran stadium in March.

Main image: Women holding a placard in support of the Iranian women's stadium visit in in St. Petersburg during last year's World Cup. Picture by: Elmar Kremser/SVEN SIMON/DPA/PA Images

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