FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019: Football's governing body speaks out against removal of Iranian gender activists from stadiums

Nice: It was wrong to remove people campaigning for women to be allowed into Iranian soccer stadiums from a Women's World Cup game in France, FIFA said on Tuesday.

Stadium security officials intervened in Grenoble during Saturday's game between New Zealand and Canada when they spotted T-shirts campaigning for women's rights in Iran.

FIFA questioned the conduct of local organizers after reviewing the incident. "FIFA believes that the message to allow women into football stadiums in Iran is a social, not political, matter and so the message on the front of the T-shirts worn by two fans is not against the FIFA rules," FIFA said in a statement Tuesday.

 FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019: Footballs governing body speaks out against removal of Iranian gender activists from stadiums

Iranian club Persepolis' female fans cheer for their team during the second leg of the AFC Champions League final football match at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran. AFP

"As such, in this specific case, the fans should not have been asked to remove their T-shirts or to leave the stadium by local security. FIFA will do its best to ensure that any similar situations do not occur at future matches during the competition."

Women have been mainly prohibited from attending men's games and other sports events in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution. A partial exception came in November when hundreds of Iranian women, who were separated from male supporters, were allowed into the Azadi Stadium in Tehran to watch the AFC Champions League final. FIFA campaigns for women to be given access to games in Iran.

"The promotion of gender equality is a priority for FIFA, as per the statutes, and we remain fully cognisant of this, particularly during the FIFA Women's World Cup," the governing body said.

Updated Date: Jun 18, 2019 21:39:07 IST