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SPORTS

Iran women's goalkeeper accused of being a man

WOMEN IN SPORTS By Odero Charles | November 19th 2021
Zohreh Joudaei was Iran's hero saving two penalties in the Women's Asian Cup Qualifiers [photo courtesy ]

Jordan Football Association (FA) called on the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to launch an investigation and determine the sex of goalkeeper of the Iranian women's football team Zohreh Koudaei.

Iran had qualified for their first-ever 2022 Women's Asia Cup after a 4-2 shoot-out win over Jordan back in September.

Zohreh helped the team to register a stunning win by blocking two goal attempts by the Jordanian team resulting in Iran's qualification.

Now, the rivals are questioning the gender identification of one of the Iranian players.

The football governing body said that the goalkeeper was a man posing as a woman.

The president of the Jordan Football Association, Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein, tweeted on Sunday a letter "requesting a gender verification check" on the Iranian player in question, suggesting that the keeper was a man posing as a woman.

Hussein described it as "a very serious issue if true", and called on the AFC to "please wake up".

In a letter dated November 5, the Jordan FA cast doubts over the "eligibility of a participating player".

The letter also alleged that the Iranian women's team "has a history with gender and doping issues" and demanded a probe.

But Iran team's selector, Maryam Irandoost, dismissed the allegation.

"The medical staff have carefully examined each player on the national team in terms of hormones to avoid any problems in this regard, and so I tell all fans not to worry," Irandoost told sports news site Varzesh3 on Sunday.

"We will provide any documentation that the Asian Confederation of Football wishes without wasting time."

Koudaei has since denied the claims against her, saying she will now take legal action against the Jordan FA.

In an interview with Turkish publication Hurriyet, she said: "I am a woman. This is bullying from Jordan. I will sue the Jordan FA."

The 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup is set to kick off in India in January.

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