ZURICH: FIFA is planning to will send a delegation to Iran to assess preparations for fans attending next October’s World Cup qualifying tie between against Cambodia.
This follows the death of a female football fan who died after seteting herelf alight for fear of a jail sentence for slipping into a match in defiance of a ban on women supporters.
The world federation told media outlets that it would “shortly” a delegation in Iran “to assess the preparations to allow women to attend the stadium at the next qualifying match for the World Cup in October.”
A delegation will meet officials of the the Iranian federation though they have minimal authority in the matter.
Sahar Khodayari, 30, was arrested last year while trying to enter a stadium disguised as a man to attend a match of her favorite team, Tehran’s Esteghlal FC, according to the news website Varzesh3.
Nicknamed “The Blue Girl”, in reference to Esteghlal’s colors, Sahar Khodayari set herself on fire at the entrance of a court in Tehran last week after hearing that she would spend six months in prison.
The Iranian Sports Ministry announced at the end of August that supporters would be allowed to attend this meeting between Iran and Cambodia.
In Iran, women have been banned from stadiums since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, with religious leaders arguing that they need to be protected from the “male atmosphere” and “half-naked men” .
While a small number of women have been able to attend international meetings, others have been prosecuted for entering a stadium outside of these occasions.