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Iran will lift ban on women attending football matches, Fifa says

TEHRAN, IRAN: Iranian women hold portraits of Iran's national football players while watching Iran's national football team exercise at their World Cup 2006 training camp on May 20, 2006 in Tehran, Iran. (Photo by Majid/Getty Images)

Fifa’s president Gianni Infantino has said Iran will lift its ban on women attending football matches.

Speaking at a Fifa conference on women’s football on Sunday, Infantino said: “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, it is 40 years that this has not happened, with a couple of exceptions, but it is important to move to the next level and to the next stage.”

Fifa officials have been in Iran this week on an investigation visit ahead of the national team’s October 10 World Cup qualifier against Cambodia, its first home game for the 2022 tournament qualifiers. They found “no noteworthy operation obstacles” to lifting the 40-year band and allowing women to attend the match.

Iran’s ban on women at football games became a major issue in recent weeks following the death of Sahar Khodayari, a female fan who set herself on fire outside a courthouse in Iran in protest at her treatment for attempting to gain access to a football match.

Iran banned women from entering football stadiums after the Islamic revolution in the country in 1979.