11/07/2013 04:19 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 10:53 EST

FIFA president urges Iran to drop ban on women at stadiums

TEHRAN, Iran - FIFA president Sepp Blatter is urging Iranian authorities to end the ban on female football spectators in stadiums.

Thursday's remarks by Blatter came after talks with Iranian officials including Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani.

Iran is one of the few countries that block women from attending football matches, but has permitted female fans at some other sports venues in the past. Qatar, which only allowed its first female Olympic athletes last year, has promised that women fans are welcome when it hosts the 2022 World Cup.

In 2006, then President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said women could attend football matches in a special section, but the decision was overruled by higher authorities.

A year later, Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi showed girls who dressed as men to sneak into football matches in Tehran.