FIFA president Sepp Blatter last week urged Iranian authorities to end a long-standing ban on female football spectators in stadiums.
Iran is one of the few countries where women are prohibited from attending football matches, a policy applied since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
“When I travelled to Iran in November 2013, I was not only confronted with huge popular enthusiasm from football but also a law forbidding women from attending football matches,”Blatter wrote in FIFA’s weekly magazine.
“I raised the topic at my meeting with the President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, and came away with the impression that this intolerable situation could change over the medium term.
“However, nothing has happened. A collective “stadium ban” still applies to women in Iran, despite the existence of a thriving women’s football organisation.
“This cannot continue. Hence, my appeal to the Iranian authorities; open the nation’s football stadiums to women.”
In 2006, former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that women could attend football matches in a special section, but the decision was overruled by higher authorities.
However, since Iran have bid to host the 2019 Asian Cup against UAE, the stadium ban on female supporters may keep their effort out from winning.