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1 Oct, 2022 10:09

Iranian activists want their country banned from World Cup

Open Stadiums has questioned why Iran should be allowed to take part in Qatar 2022 in November
Iranian activists want their country banned from World Cup

An Iranian women’s rights group has asked global football governing body FIFA to ban their country from the upcoming men’s World Cup due to restrictions on women from attending matches in Iran.

Open Stadiums shared an open letter on Twitter, which asked why Iran is being allowed to compete at Qatar 2022 while “Iranian women remain locked out of our ‘Beautiful Game.’”

Iranian women were recently allowed to attend a domestic match for the first time since 1979, after FIFA reportedly sent a letter to the local authorities demanding that they be allowed to attend more games.

Open Stadiums is not confident that football grounds will remain open to women moving forward, however, as Iranian women “trust neither the Islamic Republic’s authorities nor the Iranian Football Federation that the Azadi stadium will remain open to them after the FIFA World Cup 2022 concludes on December 18.”

There is no official ban on Iranian women going to sporting events across Iran. Bans aren’t in place to stop women from traveling to Qatar either, but Open Stadiums argues that those who make the trip to the World Cup host nation in November risk angering the Iranian authorities.

Open Stadiums’ letter points out that prohibiting women from football matches goes against international football rules, and argues that FIFA should “immediately expel Iran from the World Cup 2022 in Qatar” as a consequence.

The rights group further argues that members of the men’s football team were banned from speaking out against the protests that have rocked Iran, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who was detained by the morality police.

The Iranian men’s team get their World Cup Group B campaign underway against England on November 21, before games against Wales and the United States.