A number of female football fans who wanted to watch today’s Tehran derby between Esteghlal and Persepolis were refused entry to the ground and according to local reports, some were arrested by uniformed police. Two women, one carrying a Persepolis flag, were detained by officers as they tried to enter the Azadi Stadium to watch the game, Tasnim News Agency reported.
Infantino present at Tehran derby but no women allowed
Iran are one of the five representatives at this year’s World Cup finals in Russia and FIFA President Gianni Infantino is in Tehran and attended today’s game with Technical Director Marco van Basten on invitation by the Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI). Earlier today, Infantino gave a press conference in which he spoke about keeping football free of politics. Later today he is due to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Infantino has been widely criticized for attending a match in which women have been refused access with Iran Human Rights Watch (Iran HRM) just one of the organizations condemning today's events.
Van Basten meanwhile, has called for the ban of women entering sports venues to be lifted.
Discrimination under FIFA regulations
Women have not been allowed into sporting arenas in Iran since 1982 which is a violation of FIFA’s statutes.
In its constitution, world football’s organizing body states: “FIFA also vigorously combats racism or discrimination of any kind, promotes friendly relations between every person and organisation involved in the game and obliges them to observe the Statutes, regulations and principles of fair play. FIFA also provides the necessary institutional means to resolve disputes. The Regulations Governing the Application of the Statutes and the Standing Orders of the Congress are an integral part of the Statutes”.