Fifa ‘firm’ on women’s access to Iran matches

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Fifa ‘firm’ over women’s access to Iran matches after ‘Blue girl’ tragedy

Fifa will “stand firm” in ensuring women have access to all football matches in Iran despite claims the world governing body could have prevented the death of an activist.

Women have effectively been banned from stadiums when men are playing since just after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

But Fifa said it has been “assured” by Iranian authorities that women will be able to attend matches.

More than 3,500 tickets have been sold to female fans for Iran’s World Cup qualifier against Cambodia in Tehran on Thursday, although Amnesty International called that a “token number” and a “publicity stunt” given the stadium has a capacity of 78,000.

The issue came to global prominence after Sahar Khodayari, known as ‘blue girl’ because of the team she supported, set fire to herself outside court last month as she awaited trial for trying to attend a match disguised as a man.

The 29-year-old died a week later.

Fifa’s head of education and social responsibility Joyce Cook told BBC Sport: “It’s not just about one match. We’re not going to turn our eyes away from this.

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