What They're Saying: Maryam Shojaei

“Forty million Iranian women are fans, and they’ve been banned for four decades. If the football team is banned for one World Cup, I think that’s worth it. I’m sure at the end — in 10 years, 20 years — people will appreciate it.”

-- Maryam Shojaei, whose brother Masoud Soleimani Shojaei is the Iran national team captain and a three-time World Cup participant, on campaigning for FIFA to ban Iran from the 2022 World Cup unless Iran changes a law that prohibits women from attending men’s soccer matches. FIFA president Gianni Infantino asked Mehdi Taj, the president of Iran’s soccer federation, to provide an answer no later than Monday about what “concrete steps” the federation would take to ensure that Iranian women could attend World Cup qualifying games, which start in September. No answer was forthcoming. (New York Times)

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