women to Iran stadium

Tehran Times - FIFA President Gianni Infantino believes the global governing body's policy of engagement with Iran over the treatment of women in football is bearing fruit after some were allowed into the Tehran derby on Thursday.

Women's rights campaigners Open Stadiums and another group of former Iranian athletes last year called on FIFA to ban Iran from the World Cup because of the continued exclusion of women from football matches.

Infantino welcomed the news that women had been allowed into Thursday's Iran Pro League match as a sign of its success, Reuters reported.

“In September, I had the pleasure of meeting Iran President Ebrahim Raisi in New York City, where we discussed the development of women's football in the country and progress made regarding the presence of women in football stadiums,” he said in a statement released on social media.

“It was, therefore, with great delight that I learned around 3,000 women attended the Tehran derby between Persepolis FC and Esteghlal FC.

“Thanks to the ongoing dialogue between FIFA and the Islamic Republic of Iran Football Federation, progress is being made.”

Infantino said he would be travelling to Iran in the near future and would again meet President Raisi "to further discuss football-related matters".

“Iran is a significant force in Asian football and it is important that we continue to nurture the positive and fruitful working relationship we have built,” the Swiss added.