Gianni Infantino’s efforts have not had much impact and, with World Cup qualifiers soon, the wait to attend games continues
“They think that, if they give up on this, it’s a noose for them,” says Maryam Shojaei. “People will ask for more. If they give in in one area, they fear they will have to give in in others.”
“They” are the Iranian authorities and Iranian Football Association, who have thus far resisted calls for the removal of the 40-year ban on women in football stadiums. And Shojaei, who is the sister of the Iran national team captain, Masoud Shojaei, is one of an increasing number of women campaigning for entry: some have attempted to sneak into matches disguised as men, female sports photographers have had to scale buildings nearby just to do their jobs, and others have suffered brutal arrests and detention.