Iranian female football fans have until now been denied access to matches in the country. Recently, FIFA has announced full access for women who will be able to attend a World Cup qualifying match in Tehran next month, according to Gianni Infantino, the president of football’s global governing body (FIFA). This announcement comes after an Iranian woman football fan set herself ablaze earlier this month. She was protesting against her arrest for attending a game and now authorities have taken this decision after her death.

Women in Iran will be able to attend football matches, according to football’s world governing body. “We need to have women attending – we need to push for that with respect but in a strong and forceful way and we cannot wait any more,” Infantino told a FIFA conference on women’s football on Sunday, Aljazeera.com reported.

“We have been assured that, as of the next international game of Iran, women will be allowed to enter football stadiums,” he said.

Key Takeaways:

  • Women in Iran will be able to attend football matches, according to FIFA. Iranian female fans have been denied access to football matches in the country
  • Earlier this month, an Iranian woman football fan set herself ablaze. She was protesting against her arrest for attending a game and now authorities have taken this decision after her death.
  • Gianni Infantino, the president of football’s global governing body said that they have been assured that, as of the next international game of Iran, women will be allowed to enter football stadiums.

“This is something very important, it is 40 years that this has not happened, with a couple of exceptions, but it is important to move to the next level and to the next stage,” he added making gender equality the centre of a sport.

Not only Iranian woman were banned from attending a game they are traditionally bound to wear a hijab. So this year’s World Cup is going to be significantly historic one for Iranian women. “This is something very important, it is 40 years that this has not happened, with a couple of exceptions, but it is important to move to the next level and to the next stage,” he added making gender equality the centre of a sport.

Also Read: Indian Women Who Love Football. It’s Not A Myth Anymore!

Women had long been prohibited from watching men’s sporting events since a de facto ban was imposed following 1979’s Islamic revolution, the Huffington Post says. Foreign women could watch games with limited access but not locals. Iranian women were allowed to watch Iran’s FIFA 2018 World Cup clash with Spain as Tehran’s provincial council permitted women to attend the special screening after Iran won its first World Cup match since 1998.

Female fans, however, were again denied access after the matches. At Iran’s friendly against Syria in June, women were locked out of the 78,000-capacity Azadi Stadium in Tehran and detained by security forces, according to Reuters news agency.

It’s been 40 years that the women have been banned from watching men’s sporting events in Iran. This time authorities are lifting the country’s 40-year ban and letting women attend and enjoy the match alongside men from next month onwards.

As the discrimination is now lifted, FIFA added that the visit focused on “international relations, security and ticketing matters,” adding that Iranian officials were told of the body’s “firm and clear position that women need to be allowed to enter football matches freely.”

The death of Sahar Khodayari, aka “Blue Girl” had a strong impact on FIFA authorities.

Death of ‘Blue Girl’

The death of Sahar Khodayari, aka “Blue Girl” had a strong impact on FIFA authorities. She died in hospital after setting herself ablaze outside a court. She had dressed as a man and entered a stadium to watch a game. She was arrested and then put in jail for six months. Her death was widely covered and was a much talked about topic this month which created outrage in Iran. Netizens were furious. They demanded the country’s football federation to be suspended or banned by FIFA.

READ: Basketball Federation Finally Okays Hijabs, Turbans On Court

What did FIFA decide?

Come October 10, in a match against Cambodia, Iran’s first home game of the 2022 qualifying competition, Iranian women will attend football matches.

Feature Image Credit: Frank Augstein/AP/Rex/Shutterstock

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