Lausanne, Switzerland, April 7, 2015 – FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça on Tuesday welcomed the news that Iran has taken an important step towards easing the ban on women attending sporting matches in the country.
The issue of female participation in sport last year reached a peak with widespread media attention following the imprisonment of Ghoncheh Ghavami – a British-Iranian woman detained for attempting to attend an international volleyball match in Tehran.
During this time, President Graça called on the entire volleyball family to secure support for Ghavami’s release and to ensure that women around the world were granted equal access to sport. The FIVB contacted the President of Iran, His Excellency Hassan Rouhani, and the Iranian Volleyball Federation to open discussion concerning female participation and, following a meeting with Human Rights Watch, announced that it would not award Iran hosting rights to any FIVB controlled events while women were banned from sporting events in the country.
Commenting on the announcement that the ban in Iran will be reversed, President Ary Graça said:
“The FIVB welcomes the news that Iran is easing its ban on women attending sporting events. While it is unclear at this point how far this rule will be implemented, this is yet another step in the right direction for world sport. It is gratifying to see that the dialogue initiated last year has yielded some positive progress and I thank the Iranian authorities and the Iranian Volleyball Federation for their positive work. This news is evidence of the power of sport to inspire positive social change and the FIVB will continue its work to ensure inclusivity and the right of women to participate in sport on an equal basis all around the world.”