Fifa president Gianni Infantino says Iran must start allowing women into football stadiums. Iranian women have been banned from stadiums when men’s teams have been playing since just after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. But Infantino hopes to see a change in place for the country’s World Cup qualifier with Cambodia next month. “Our position is firm and clear. Women have to be allowed into football stadiums in Iran,” he said.
“Now is the moment to change things and Fifa is expecting positive developments starting in the next Iran home match in October.” Football fan Sahar Khodayari died this month when she set herself on fire while awaiting trial for trying to attend a match. Nicknamed ‘Blue Girl’, in reference to the colours worn by her favourite team Esteghlal of Tehran, she was arrested in March for trying to enter the stadium, reportedly disguised as a man.
A group of female fans were permitted to attend the second leg of the Asian Champions League final in Tehran last November, but in June women were locked out of Iran’s friendly with Syria at the Azadi Stadium in the Iranian capital – the venue for the World Cup qualifier on 10 October.