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Iran assures FIFA women will be able to watch football matches

Women in Iran will be able to attend football matches, starting with a World Cup qualifier next month, according to football’s world governing body, FIFA.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said he discussed the issue with the Iranian authorities after the death of a female fan earlier this month.

Mr Infantino said they assured him that women would be allowed into matches.

Women have effectively been banned from stadiums where men are playing since just after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Earlier this month, football fan Sahar Khodayari died after being arrested for trying to go to a match disguised as a man.

Ms Khodayari, also known as the “blue girl” after the colours of her favourite team Esteqlal, feared she would be jailed. She set herself on fire outside the court and died a week later in hospital, BBC reported.

Her death caused widespread grief and outrage, both within and outside Iran.

Football players and fans around the world have also been paying tribute to Ms Khodayari. Footballers from some European women’s teams have been wearing blue armbands during matches, in her memory.

FIFA itself has faced growing criticism, with people calling for the body to suspend or ban Iran’s football federation, according to BBC.

FIFA officials have spent a week in Iran discussing the 10 October match against Cambodia, Iran’s first home game of the 2022 qualifying competition.

“We need to have women attending,” Mr Infantino told a Fifa conference on women’s football.

“We 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 in 40 years this has not happened, with a couple of exceptions.”

Vanguard News Nigeria.

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