An absolute honour
Iran striker Karim Ansarifard declared it would be an honour to play in front of female fans at the World Cup – women were barred from entering large stadiums in Iran following the country’s Islamic revolution in 1979.
Ansarifard said: “Most definitely, for sure this is an honour for myself, for my country, for my people, for my team-mates, everyone. It’s an absolute honour regardless of who comes to the stadium, whether it’s our fathers, our brothers, our males or females.
“It’s always an honour to represent our country, we play for them, we play for all men and women from our country. When I say people from our country, there are no exceptions. Those people include all male and all female.
“It’s always an honour for me, an honour for my team-mates, there are absolutely no exceptions. I wanted to thank you for raising this question.
“With all the respect I have to all supporters all around the world, Iran has one of the best fans, supporters all around the world.
“All Iranian fans are all well known around the world for being very passionate, very loyal to the teams, not only football national team but all national teams, even the club level, we have very passionate fans, they are famous for it and we are very proud of that”