ZURICH (AP) – FIFA president Gianni Infantino is raising hopes Iran will lift a ban on women entering soccer stadiums before a World Cup qualifying game next month.
Attention on the ban intensified when a 29-year-old activist, Sahar Khodayari, died this month after setting herself on fire. She had been detained for dressing as a man to enter a soccer stadium.
Infantino says in a statement “now is the moment to change things and FIFA is expecting positive developments starting in the next Iran home match.”
Iran, the top-ranked team in Asia, hosts Cambodia at the 78,000-capacity Azadi Stadium in Tehran on Oct. 10.
Infantino has been urging Iran’s government to lift the 40-year ban imposed after the Islamic Revolution.
He says: “Our position is clear and firm. Women have to be allowed into football stadiums in Iran.”
FIFA has officials in Iran monitoring preparations at the stadium should the ban be lifted.
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