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The Iranian football star's sister wants women to be allowed in her matches

Of the more than 20 women who started the campaign, now called Open Stadiums, Sara is the only one to stay in Iran. The rest, she said, fled the country.

"It should be based on the law that they suspend the federation," Sara said.

Last March, while Infantino was in the company of Iranian officials, Sara protested to three dozen supporters and activists while attempting to enter the Azadi – some disguised as men – for the country's biggest game, a confrontation between clubs Persepolis and Esteghlal, watched by 100,000 men. The protesters were arrested and detained for several hours.

The movement to lift the stadium ban has gained national renown and is now part of the larger debate on women's rights in the conservative Muslim country. In the beginning, even many Iranian feminists rejected the movement.

"If someone asked me," What is your greatest achievement, what gives you the most satisfaction? " ", I would say this:" The ayatollahs when they talk about women's rights, they always talk about the fact that women attend the stadiums, "said Sara.

Shojaei, who emigrated to Canada in 2007 and became a citizen in 2012, has been seen confiscating her banners abroad, including in Russia, where FIFA, which passed a new rights directive of the man, had given him express permission to attend his delegation. .

"I spoke to two respected clergy and said it was nothing to do with Islam," she said.

The ban, which has been extended to volleyball and basketball, provides a stark contrast to other Iranian cultural arenas, including theaters, where people of different sexes rub shoulders.

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