Mr. Infantino — who took the reins of FIFA in 2016 after a corruption scandal brought down his predecessor, Sepp Blatter — was in Tehran this week in part to meet with Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, and to resolve a continuing dispute between Iranian and Saudi Arabian clubs. On Thursday, the FIFA chief attended the Tehran Derby, one of the country’s biggest annual soccer matches, in Iran’s national soccer stadium, Azadi, meaning freedom.
Even Saudi Arabia has opened its stadiums to women: In the fall, following his historic decision allowing women to drive, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman opened Riyadh’s King Fahd stadium, Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City stadium and Dammam’s Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd stadium to female fans.
But Iran’s women are still waiting to be allowed in the stands. Last April, eight women were arrested after sneaking into Azadi stadium to watch a game while dressed as men. The prohibition is the subject of Jafar Panahi’s acclaimed 2006 film “Offside,” which, perhaps unsurprisingly, was banned in Iran. Even Mr. Blatter, a man not otherwise famous for his moral rectitude, called on Iran to end its barring of female fans in 2015.