AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa joined FIFA President Gianni Infantino in welcoming the presence of more than 1,000 female fans in the Azadi Stadium for the 2018 AFC Champions League final on Saturday.
After the final won 2-0 on aggregate by Japan’s Kashima Antlers against Persepolis of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Shaikh Salman said: “Football in Asia has always been inclusive and the AFC welcomes supporters no matter their creed, beliefs, gender or race.
“I thank the authorities in IR Iran for making it possible for a diverse and socially representative crowd to witness an extraordinary occasion. Tonight, was historic in so many ways and showed that the AFC continues to develop their competitions.
“So much credit must go to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran for their co-operation and support in staging this memorable final.”
The FIFA President added: “I was delighted to personally witness that, for the first time in 40 years, Iranian female football fans were allowed to attend an official match again.
“The fact that over 1,000 women could cheer their favourite team and that this took place during Asian football’s most important game of the season, the AFC Champions League finale, makes this occasion even more special.”
He also praised the AFC and FFIRI for the key role on such a historic occasion. He added his thanks to the Iranian authorities and in particular the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani.
The AFC also accredited female reporters and photographers to cover the match for various news outlets.