FIFA rethink: Iranian women’s protest is social not political

June 19 – FIFA has admitted it was wrong that two fans were ejected from a Women’s World Cup match for wearing T-shirts calling for Iranian women to be let into stadiums.

The supporters were forced to leave Saturday’s match in Grenoble between Canada and New Zealand because they wore t-shirts carrying slogans and messages relating to the enforcement of hijabs.

Iranian women have not been allowed to attend men’s sporting events in the country for much of the four decades since the Islamic revolution give or take the odd rule relaxation including at the Asian Champions League final between home side Persepolis and Japan’s Kashima Antlers at Tehran’s Azadi last November.

“FIFA believes that the message to allow women into football stadiums in Iran is a social, not political, matter and so the message on the front of the t-shirts worn by two fans is not against the FIFA rules,” FIFA said in a statement.

“The fans should not have been asked to remove their t-shirts or to leave the stadium by local security, even if there were other messages on the back of their t-shirts.

“FIFA will do its best to ensure that any similar situations do not occur at future matches during the competition.”

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