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Infantino: Women will “soon” be allowed at games in Iran

Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 01: FIFA President Gianni Infantino talks to the media during a talk show presentation prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Draw at the Kremlin on December 1, 2017 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA President Gianni Infantino says Iran has assured him female fans will “soon” be allowed into soccer stadiums after they were blocked from getting into a game he attended in Tehran.

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency cited the interior ministry as saying about 35 women were stopped from entering the Azadi Stadium on Thursday for a game between Esteqlal and Persepolis and “were instructed to a proper place by police.”

Infantino opened a FIFA equality conference on Friday by claiming the trip could help “many women around the world.”

Infantino says “I hope, I am confident, I was promised that women in Iran will have access to football stadiums soon.”

He did not specify who made the pledge, while saying he was reluctant to be heard “criticizing anyone.”