Iran complains to AFC after Jordan urges 'gender verification check' on woman goalkeeper

Iran complains to AFC after Jordan urges 'gender verification check' on woman goalkeeper
Amman's gender claim followed Iran women's football team victory over Jordan in late September.
2 min read
23 November, 2021
Many Iranians have expressed their support for goalkeeper Zohreh Koudaei [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu/Getty]

Jordan's urging for a "gender verification check" on an Iran women's international footballer has prompted Tehran's national football body to file a counter-complaint on Monday.

The complaint about the Jordan Football Association (JFA) was made to the sport's regional authority, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Anadolu Agency reported.

This is according to the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which gave no specifics regarding the grievance other than that it related to Jordan's call for a gender check and its issues with Iran's women's side.

In late September, Iran's women team unexpectedly beat Jordan 4–2 on penalties to earn a spot at the Women's Asia Cup for the first time.

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Weeks later, Jordan alleged that Zohreh Koudaei, 31, Iran's goalkeeper and a key part of her team's victory, isn't a woman, insisting her gender be confirmed.

Koudaei is said to have called the gender claim "bullying", telling Turkey's Hürriyet daily she "will sue the Jordan FA".

Maryam Irandoost, Iran women's head coach, recently called the chatter "an excuse for not accepting the defeat".

She condemned Jordan's decision to submit a letter to the AFC concerning her goalkeeper's gender. It did this on 5 November, though the authority had brought up the matter unofficially before this.

In its message, Jordan asserted that Iran has "a history with gender and doping issues".

It urged a "transparent and clear investigation by a panel of independent medical experts to investigate the eligibility of the player in question and others on the team".

JFA chief and Jordanian Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein posted the message to Twitter. His country has so far shown no sign of abandoning its position.

Irandoost asserted Iran women had "carefully examined each and every player for hormones and testosterone tests".

Koudaei has been called a "champion girl" in the Islamic Republic, with Iranians across many parts of the country praising her.