Women

Farah Pahlavi to FIFA President: Use World Cup to Right the Wrongs Done to Iranian Women

July 5, 2022
IranWire
1 min read
Farah Pahlavi told Gianni Infantino that "respect for FIFA and your office" depended on the situation being addressed
Farah Pahlavi told Gianni Infantino that "respect for FIFA and your office" depended on the situation being addressed

The last queen of Iran has penned an open letter to Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA, asking him to intervene decisively this November in the ongoing stalemate over Iranian women not being allowed into football stadiums in Iran.

In the correspondence published on Monday, Farah Pahlavi wrote that it was “shameful” Iranian women were still not being allowed to take their rightful place on a stands, calling on the world football body to “use the World Cup as an opportunity to assert women’s rights”.

FIFA’s own charter bans discrimination of any kind from the game. But apart from a curated and token presence at some matches, Iran’s sports venues remain closed to women and girls. In March this year, female ticket-holders were pepper-sprayed on trying to enter a stadium in Mashhad to watch a World Cup qualifier between Team Melli and Lebanon.

The World Cup, Farah Pahlavi wrote, was “a land beyond the known lands” in terms of politics, ideology and geography, where long-standing divisions could be redressed.

“Now that the young people of my country are also coming to this big party as part of a global family,” she wrote, “there is an opportunity to push for the presence of the women of my country in stadiums, especially at the games that are held under the supervision of FIFA.”

Female football fans in Iran, she said, had been “courageous” in trying to contact FIFA themselves about the situation. “Respect for FIFA,” she wrote, “and your current office, depends on your respecting their voices and listening to them. In hopes of the victory of light over darkness.”

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