Football’s governing body FIFA has been “assured” by Iran that they will lift its 40-year ban and allow women to attend a World Cup qualifying game next month.
According to FIFA, the strict law against women breaches international soccer statutes prohibiting discrimination.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a conference on Sunday (Sept.22) that Iranian officials assured FIFA that “women will be allowed to enter football stadiums,” according to the BBC. “This is something very important — in 40 years this has not happened, with a couple of exceptions.”
The announcement comes a month after 29-year-old activist, Sahar Khodayari, set herself on fire outside a courthouse. She had been detained for dressing as a man to enter a soccer stadium in Tehran and faced six months in prison.
“There is women’s football in Iran but we need Iranian women as well to be able to attend the men’s game,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said.
“And we need to push for that with respect but in a strong and forceful way. We cannot wait anymore.
“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 have already sent an inspection team to Iran to meet government and soccer officials ahead of Iran’s match against Cambodia at the 78,000-capacity Azadi Stadium on Oct. 10.