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Saturday, 26 September 2020

FIFA sending delegation to ensure Iran allows women fans into match

AFP , Thursday 26 Sep 2019
Iran
Women fans were allowed into the Azadi Stadium in Tehran to support Iran during the screening of a 2018 World Cup match against Portugal (Photo: AFP)
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FIFA will send a delegation to Tehran to make sure women fans are admitted to the World Cup qualifying match between Iran and Cambodia on October 10.

Former French World Cup winner Youri Djorkaeff told AFP on Thursday that he would be part of the delegation.

"Iran is a hot topic and I am organising myself to be there on October 10," Djorkaeff said.

It was his first interview since his appointment a week ago as Chief Executive Officer of the FIFA Foundation, whose objectives include making football more accessible to women in the Middle East.

The presence of a delegation is important "to show that FIFA intervened there with conviction," said the former midfielder.

On Sunday, Gianni Infantino, president of the governing body of world football, said he had been "assured" by Iran that women could attend the match.

There had been calls to ban Iran from international competitions following the death of a female fan, Sahar Khodayari, who set herself on fire following her arrest for trying to enter a stadium.

Iranian women have been banned from stadiums since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, with religious leaders arguing that they must be protected from the "male atmosphere" and the "sight of half-naked men".

While a small number of women have been allowed to attend international matches in recent years, others have been prosecuted for going to games in other competitions.

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