ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Football’s world governing body, FIFA, has in the past called on Iran to end their ban on female fans attending men’s games, but they must be more explicit, the organization’s human rights experts have said.
The FIFA Human Rights Advisory Board has urged FIFA to hand Iran’s football federation a deadline to comply with demands to lift the ban, or face “anticipated sanctions if it does not.”
Although FIFA’s laws restrict gender-related discrimination, its leadership has failed to criticize the central government in Tehran for its female ban.
In May, FIFA President Gianni Infantino met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who Infantino said spoke of plans to allow more women to attend football matches in the country.
Shortly after the meeting, however, Rouhani’s office denied rumors the ban would be lifted.
In the past few months, Iran has allowed females to attend men’s matches, although the move has received criticism.
In October, about 100 women were permitted to watch and cheer on their national team in an international friendly match at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran, scenes reminiscent of female fans who watched Iran play at the World Cup in Russia.
Following the game, prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said women would not be permitted to watch live football matches inside stadiums in Iran, arguing that if females see male players in their uniforms, it would “lead to sin.”
Montazeri warned that Iran would “deal with any official who wants to allow women inside stadiums under any pretext.”
However, in November, hundreds of local women attended the second leg of the AFC Champions League final between Iranian club Persepolis and Japanese side Kashima Antlers at the same venue.
There has been no comment from Iran, or it’s football federation in response to FIFA’s Human Rights Advisory Board.
For over 30 years, the ultra-conservative Iranian regime has prevented females from attending male football matches.