Female fans will be allowed to enter Azadi Stadium for Iran’s upcoming World Cup qualifying match after pressure from FIFA, a sports ministry official said.

In June, the governing body for world football said in letter to the Iranian Football Federation that it would face consequences if it did not provide a timeline for when women would be permitted to attend qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, which will be held in Qatar.

Foreign women have had limited access to stadia in Iran, while local woman have been banned from stadia during men’s competitions since the Islamic revolution in 1979.

Jamshid Taghizadeh, the sports ministry’s deputy for legal and provincial affairs, said on Sunday, according to the Reuters news agency: “Women can go to the Azadi stadium on October 10, 2019 to watch the match between the Iranian national team and Cambodia for the Qatar World Cup qualifier.

“There is no legal ban (on the presence of women in stadiums) and we must activate the infrastructure, which is underway. Our view on women, at all levels, is to prepare the necessary conditions for women’s success.”

Earlier this year, several women were detained after attempting to enter the Azadi Stadium for a friendly football game against Syria.

In January, it was announced that Azadi Stadium would host the women’s national football team for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Last November, FIFA’s Human Rights Advisory Board urged the body to lay out a timeframe for Iran to begin allowing women to attend matches.

Image: Tabarez