TEHRAN: For Iran’s next World Cup qualifier in October, women fans will be permitted into the stadium, a sports ministry official said Sunday, ahead of a deadline to allow them to attend.
FIFA has stepped up pressure on Iran to ensure that women are allowed to compete in qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, allegedly giving it to fulfill or face consequences until Saturday.
On Sunday, an official at the Sports Ministry said females would be able to watch Team Melli at their next home match at Tehran’s Azadi stadium, as the national team is known.
“Women can go to the Azadi stadium on October 10, 2019 to watch the match between the Iranian national team and Cambodia for the Qatar World Cup qualifier,” said Jamshid Taghizadeh, the sports ministry´s deputy for legal and provincial affairs.
“There is no legal ban (on the presence of women in stadiums] and we must activate the infrastructure, which is underway,” he said, quoted by state news agency IRNA.
“Our view on women, at all levels, is to prepare the necessary conditions for women´s success.”
Iran has barred Iranian women spectators at matches since the 1979 Islamic revolution, with clerics arguing they must be protected from the masculine atmosphere and sight of semi-clad men.
The authorities have allowed foreign women to go to matches in the country in the past.