FIFA said women need to be allowed to enter football matches in Iran freely and that the number of women who attend the stadiums be determined by the ticket demand.

Iranian women have been banned from entering football stadia for men’s matches for the past 40 years, with foreign women only having been granted limited access.

On Thursday, the governing body’s delegation, which was also joined by a representative of the Asian Football Confederation, met with the Iran’s Deputy Minister of Sport and Youth, and representatives of the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) focusing on international relations, security and ticketing matters.

The delegation inspected the Azadi stadium in Tehran, where on October 10 the national teams of Iran and Cambodia will play a qualification game for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

The inspections on site showed that there are “no noteworthy operational obstacles” to these measures being implemented at the Azadi stadium.

The delegation also discussed the detailed ticketing procedures as well as operational procedures required and in line with relevant FIFA regulations.

Last week, FIFA president Gianni Infantino urged Iranian authorities to allow women into football stadia and has called for “positive developments” ahead of the national team’s next home match.

Earlier this year, FIFA wrote to the Iranian Football Federation informing it that there would be consequences if it did not provide a timeline for when women would be able to attend the national team’s qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The delegation discussed the need to open stadiums for women to attend national matches, based on the operational plans and results of the October 10 game, and the FFIRI developing an operational protocol and related requirements for matches in the Iranian football league to be opened for women as well.

FIFA concluded in its statement: “FIFA will continue to engage closely with the FFIRI and relevant government entities to implement these important changes in accordance with FIFA regulations.

“FIFA’s position is firm and clear: women have to be allowed into football stadiums in Iran. For all football matches.”