FIFA wants women in stadiums: ultimatum for Iran

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The governing body of world football seeks to pressure the Middle East country to allow women to attend stadiums

FIFA wants women in stadiums: ultimatum for Iran

Iran surprised the world a few weeks ago when the women of that country were able to attend the meeting of their national team against Bolivia. The event became historic, as Iranian women returned to a stadium for the first time since 1981, according to Marca. However, it has only been achieved in exceptional cases or with women previously selected, so for FIFA it is not enough.

Leer en español: FIFA quiere a las mujeres en los estadios: ultimátum para Irán

Therefore, the Human Rights Advisory Council has issued a report urging the agency to put pressure on Iran to eliminate censorship of women in their stadiums and allow them to attend freely without any conditions. The council argues that the banning can be considered gender discrimination, so the government of Iran must initiate a process of change with clear sanctions in case of non-compliance, at least that is the recommendation of the expert group according to Excelsior.


The task is not simple, in general the Middle East groups a series of practices towards women that for the western world are not well seen, especially those that have to do with the way of dressing, labor rights and opportunities in areas such as sports, entertainment and politics. However, those are their traditions. But there is a fact that can accelerate the process of opening: Iran and Saudi Arabia are historical enemies, which have begun an opening process separately and now they are having a "confrontation" to see who is achieving greater gender equity, within the limits of Islam, according to the New York Times.

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Each of these countries has a particular vision of Islam, Saudi Arabia is the most conservative, however the crown prince Mohamed bin Salman has begun a process of transformation, still light, but that is already seen in reality: opening entertainment centers such as cinemas, allowing women to drive, a slight flexibility for the way of dressing, among other aspects. The same American newspaper cites another point of view: this young generation allows fewer restrictions than the generation of their parents, and the cost and time spent punishing these prohibitions makes them impractical.

Islam, which is not limited to the Arab world, faces demonstrations to achieve changes in the treatment of women, in other countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Algeria, Tunisia and the aforementioned Iran and Saudi Arabia the changes began to be seen in agreement with the Women for Football site. The old arguments are starting to fall: among the most common were that the "vulgar" language of a stage was not suitable for women, or that this would "induce them to sin", according to the words of the Attorney General of Iran, Mohammad Jafar Montazéri , which even declared that it would seek to prevent the repetition of women's access to stadiums, as occurred against Bolivia last October.

Beyond the laws, what women must confront is discrimination against them in many aspects, because although in several Muslim countries it is legal to attend mixed sporting events, the opinion of men and the treatment of them continues to weigh. Qatar, a Muslim country, will host the 2022 World Cup, in addition to which Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco aspire to organize it in the future. In order to become attractive candidates to be the headquarters, they must lift the restrictions on women. FIFA has a window of opportunity that could be extended to other sports, the expectation is whether these regimes in Iran or Saudi Arabia will welcome what they say.





LatinAmerican Post | Luis Angel Hernández Liborio

Translated from "FIFA quiere a las mujeres en los estadios: ultimátum para Irán"

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