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FIFA Head Urges Iran To Let Women Into Stadiums

FIFA President Sepp Blatter says Iran's ban on women attending football matches is "intolerable" and should be lifted.

Blatter wrote in FIFA's weekly magazine published on March 6 that he raised the issue with Iranian President Hassan Rohani more than one year ago but that "nothing has happened."

Blatter said the ban "cannot continue."

The head of soccer's world governing body said that during a trip to Iran in November 2013 he saw "huge popular enthusiasm for football" but also discovered that women could not attend games.

Blatter said the ban for women continues despite a thriving women's football association.

Iranian officials have said women need protection from the rude behavior of men at soccer matches.

Women are also banned from attending men's volleyball matches.

Iran has bid to host the 2019 Asian Cup but the stadium ban on women may keep it from winning.

Based on reporting by Reuters