UEFA Urges Football Teams To Boycott Countries That Ban Female Fans

On September 24, 2019, the Union of European Football Associations said it would notify clubs and national teams of member federations that do not compete in countries where women are not allowed to enter the courts.

The current UEFA executive committee has agreed to propose up to 55 member national federations and all European clubs will not play football in countries where women are prohibited from entering the stadium. UEFA does not specify which countries will be affected by this rule.

However, Iran has been the focus of attention since a female fan died after setting herself on fire to protest being punished for imprisonment for sneaking into the field to watch a football match. She disguised herself as a boy to go to football and killed herself because she was too scared to be discovered.

Iran women cannot watch football since the 1979 Islamic revolution. In 2001, only 20 Muslim women were allowed to go to the 2002 World Cup qualifying matches. FIFA said it was assured by the Iranian authorities that the match in the second round of the 2020 World Cup against Cambodia in Tehran on October 10 will be open for women to watch.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said his organization has no right to punish European teams that will compete in countries that do not allow women to watch matches without restrictions. However, he stressed that UEFA strongly supports teams not playing in those countries.

Reuters quoted the Slovenian president adding that they could not punish any team if they played football (in the countries mentioned) because it was outside their jurisdiction. That does not mean they will be silent and unable to do anything. UEFA’s advice to all 55 federations and all clubs is that they will not play in those countries or with teams from countries where women’s basic rights are not respected. Club and league representatives agree with UEFA.