FIFA tells Iran it is time to allow women into stadiums

first_imgRelatedPosts Super Eagles soar on FIFA ranking COVID-19: FIFA count cost to football Blatter faces probe in Switzerland FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, has told Iran it is time to allow women into football stadiums and that the global soccer body expects “positive developments”, starting with their next home match in October. While foreign women have been allowed limited access to matches, Iranian women have been banned from stadiums when men’s teams have been playing, since just after the 1979 Islamic revolution. Infantino said in a FIFA statement he was hopeful that the Iranian football federation and government authorities had been receptive to “our repeated calls to address this unacceptable situation”. He added: “Our position is clear and firm. Women have to be allowed into football stadiums in Iran. “Now is the moment to change things and FIFA is expecting positive developments starting in the next Iran home match in October.” Iran, who have qualified for five World Cup finals, including each of the last two, host Cambodia on October 10 in their first home game of the 2022 qualifying competition. This month, a female fan died after setting herself on fire to protest against her arrest for attending a match. Sahar Khodayari, dubbed “Blue Girl” for the colours of her favourite team Esteghlal, died in hospital after her self-immolation outside a court where she feared being jailed for six months, having attended the match in disguise as a man.Khodayari’s death has caused widespread outrage in Iran and internationally, prompting calls on social media for Iran’s football federation to be suspended or banned by FIFA. Critics say FIFA’s own statutes hold discrimination on grounds of gender punishable by suspension or expulsion. There were signs the situation regarding female fans in Iran was changing when a group of women was permitted to attend the second leg of the Asian Champions League final in Tehran last November, a match where Infantino was present. Female fans, however, have been denied access to matches since. At Iran’s friendly against Syria in June, women were locked out of the Azadi Stadium and detained by security forces. Infantino said a FIFA delegation was now in Iran. “I am looking forward to hearing good news from them,” he said.Tags: FIFAgianni infantinoIranlast_img read more

Wasteful West Brom move to Championship summit in spite of Birmingham draw

first_imgWest Bromwich Albion moved to the top of England’s second-tier Championship in spite of being held to a goalless draw by Birmingham City at the Hawthorns on Saturday.West Brom looked rusty on their return to action after a three-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with their profligacy in front of goal proving costly. In spite of the two dropped points, Slaven Bilic’s side moved top on goal difference, ahead of second-placed Leeds United, who travel to Cardiff City on Sunday.Earlier in the day, Swansea striker Rhian Brewster scored the first goal of the Championship’s return in a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough.The Liverpool loanee pounced on a loose ball inside the Middlesbrough penalty area and slotted past goalkeeper Dejan Stojanovic before unveiling a t-shirt with the message “our colour is not a crime”.Brewster added a second three minutes later before Andre Ayew’s penalty kick sealed a 3-0 victory for the visitors, who climbed to eighth place.The defeat left Middlesbrough in 21st and outside the relegation zone on goal difference. At Craven Cottage, Fulham’s bid for automatic promotion was dealt a massive blow as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat by Brentford.Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, the league’s top scorer with 23 goals, missed a series of gilt-edged opportunities before Brentford winger Said Benrahma put his side in front in the 89th minute.Substitute Emiliano Marcondes added Brentford’s second in stoppage time to seal the victory and move them to within one point of third-placed Fulham.Meanwhile, Derby County kept themselves in contention for a top-six finish after edging out Millwall 3-2, with 18-year-old midfielder Louie Sibley netting a hat-trick.Barnsley, second from bottom, breathed new life into their bid for survival as they eked out a 1-0 victory against 13th-placed Queens Park Rangers. They moved to within four points of the safety zone.Elsewhere, sixth-placed Preston North End were held to a 1-1 draw by bottom-side Luton Town.Also, Charlton Athletic, who were without their top scorer Lyle Taylor, moved out of the relegation zone and into 19th.They secured a 1-0 win against Hull City, who dropped into the bottom three.RelatedPosts COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance FRSC to Schools: We’ll arrest, prosecute drivers who flout COVID-19 rules Sanwo-Olu: We’re committed to fulfilling promises to Lagosians Reuters/NAN.Tags: Andre AyewBirmingham CityCOVID-19English ChampionshipSlaven BilicWest Bromwich Albionlast_img read more