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16 Nov, 2021 12:13

Rivals claim Iran women’s team goalkeeper could actually be a man

Rivals claim Iran women’s team goalkeeper could actually be a man

Jordan has demanded that the Asian Football Confederation launch an investigation to determine the sex of the Iran women's team goalkeeper, following a penalty shootout loss for Jordan against their regional rivals.

Iran beat Jordan 4-2 on spot-kicks in September to qualify for the women's Asian Cup for the first time in their history. 

Goalkeeper Zohreh Koudaei was pivotal in the victory, blocking two attempts on goal which granted Iran passage to the regional showpiece.

But earlier this month, the Jordanian FA wrote a letter to the authorities doubting the "eligibility of a participating player".

Furthermore, Jordan alleged that Iran's women's team boasts a history of "gender and doping issues" while calling for "due process" to be followed.

But Iran say that the accusations are being used by Jordan to disguise their loss. 

"These allegations are just an excuse not to accept the defeat against the Iranian women’s national team," said selector Maryam Irandoost.

"The Jordanian team considered themselves the big favorite to qualify... and when they lost... it was natural to seek relief under false pretenses and to escape responsibility for this failure."

At the weekend, Jordan FA president Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein tweeted to confirm the letter in question, which requested "a gender verification check" on Koudaei while suggesting that the shotstopper was a male posing as a female.

Calling on the Asian Football Confederation to "please wake up" he said that the debacle is a "very serious issue if true".

Once again, Irandoost threw out the claims.

"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," she said to Varzesh3.

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

Amid the furor, the AFC Women's Asian Cup is scheduled to begin in India in late January and will run until February 6.

It will be Iran's first participation in the competition, with Japan set to defend their 2018 crown as places for the 2023 Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand are also up for grabs.