Fifa re-state commitment to see women allowed access to football stadiums in Iran

A group of Iranian women were allowed into a men's friendly match in October 2018 (PA Images)
16:08pm, Wed 09 Oct 2019
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Fifa have declared themselves committed to combating Iran's stance on women not being allowed into football stadiums.

Last month Sahar Khodayari, referred to as 'blue girl' because of her football allegiance, set herself on fire outside court after being arrested for trying to enter a match disguised as a man.

She died a week later from her injuries.

And Fifa's head of education and social responsibility Joyce Cook is insistent they are doing all they can to effect change and will be monitoring tomorrow's match in Tehran.

She said: "It's not just about one match. We're not going to turn our eyes away from this.

"We're totally focused on making sure women can attend this match on 10 October and working just as pragmatically to ensure women also can attend local matches in league football - but it's about what follows as well.

"Fifa has a very firm stand - fans are equally entitled to attend matches."

Football's world governing body, headed up by President Gianni Infantino, initially set a date of August 31 for Iran to change their policy, but the deadline passed without response.

But now Iran appears to finally be changing its stance as they have sold 3,500 tickets to women for the country's qualifier against Cambodia tomorrow.

"At times there are these lines in the sand moments, to set a new era," she added.

"We expect that the access for women into matches is also going to happen in the leagues as well. This is a moment for real change.

"We are firm and committed that all fans have an equal right, including women, to attend matches."

Women were previously allowed in to watch their national side take on Bolivia in a friendly in October 2018, but this time around FIFA have been 'assured' by Iranian authorities that they will continue to allow women into stadia.