35 women were detained in Tehran on Thursday after trying to attend a soccer match, which was attended by FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino. Iran has barred women from attending sporting events, especially soccer matches, ever since the Islamic revolution in 1979.

FIFA's president Gianni Infantino

FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino Photo Credit: Wikipedia/Doha Stadium Plus Qatar

Iranian authorities detained 35 women for attempting to attend a soccer match on Thursday, according to various Iranian reports. The women were held temporarily and released after the match ended.

The match between Tehran teams Esteqlal and Persepolis was attended by FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino who was visiting the country. Before attending the match, Infantino met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

On Friday, Infantino opened the FIFA Conference for Equality and Inclusion and said he hoped to help “many women around the world” to be allowed to attend soccer matches. “I hope, I am confident, I was promised that women in Iran will have access to football stadiums soon,” he said. However, Infantino also added that he was reluctant to be heard as “criticizing anyone.”