An imminent ban on Iran seems in the offing as FIFA President, Gianni Infantino issued a public statement this Thursday on the lingering ban on women at football stadiums in Iran.
Since the Iranian revolution of 40 years ago in which the Shah was toppled, the Islamic governments had imposed a ban on women entering football stadiums.
The current crusade had been fueled by the suicide of a 29-year old lady who set herself ablaze outside the court that was to try her for attempting to enter a football stadium, disguised as a man.
The lady, Sahar Khodayari, a computer sciences graduate who tried in March to enter Tehran’s Azadi stadium dressed as a man, to watch her beloved Esteghlal, but was caught by officials.
She was summoned to appear in court on 2 September, and told she could expect up to six months in prison. Outside the court, Sahar set herself on fire.
She died last week from the injuries of the burns. Her case led to a worldwide outrage.
FIFA President in his statement remarked: “I am hopeful that the Iranian Federation and the Iranian authorities were receptive to our repeated calls to address this unacceptable situation.
“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.
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.”