testBelow we are documenting an open letter addressed to FIFA and AFC by our friends of OpenStadiums, an initiative of female football fans fighting for their right to visit games.

Football Supporters Europe stands behind OpenStadiums and strongly supports their demands.

 

"Giovanni Infantino
FIFA President

Dato Windsor John
AFC General Secretary

Iranian women not permitted to enter stadia

Dear Sirs,

On 13 February 2018, Persepolis (Iran) hosted FC Nasaf (Uzbekistan) in an AFC Champions League match in Tehran at the Azadi Stadium. As you are no doubt aware due to the media attention, women were prevented from attending this match for no reason other than their gender.

The Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI), a member of both FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and contractually bound to apply their statutes and regulations, was the host of the match in Tehran.

Article 4 of the FIFA Statutes states, inter alia, that "discrimination of any kind against a...private person on account of...gender...is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion"

Article 3 of the AFC Statutes provides identical language.

As the match was played in an AFC competition, it is subject to AFC regulations.

In this respect, the provisions within the AFC Stadium Regulations regarding spectators refer to facilities being made available for "both genders". Similarly, Annex A of the AFC Safety and Security Regulations which governs entry into stadia certainly makes no mention of gender as a reason for prohibiting attendance at AFC matches.

The act of discriminating against private individuals that wish to attend AFC matches on the mere basis of being female is a clear violation of the AFC Statutes (and FIFA Statutes), being "strictly prohibited".

The women that attempted to attend the match and were denied entry provided correspondence to the AFC Match Commissioner to make him aware of these incidents in violation of AFC regulations. We hope that he passed this information on to the relevant AFC bodies.

In addition, FIFA adopted a landmark Human Rights Policy in May 2017, which commits to "protect and remedy" (Pillar III), and is explicitly stated by the FIFA President and General Secretary to set the expectations not only of FIFA but also of its Confederations and Member Associations.

It is time that the AFC and FIFA take a stand against those who actively and openly discriminate against female football fans in violation of statutes, regulations and human rights.

Mr.Infantino FIFA's president will visit Tehran on Thursday March 1st, and expected to attend most important match of Iran's premier league where women are totally barred from buying and entering to Azadi stadium and this is completely against FIFA's human rights policies, and consider Iran is the only country in the world cup that half of the nation not allowed to watch football.

On behalf of all Iranian women that love football and merely want to attend matches to support their teams of choice, we urge you to take the necessary disciplinary action against the FFIRI or others as required to protect our rights.

Yours in football,

Zahra
Iranian women movement OpenStadiums"

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