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‘I’m a woman – Iranian women’s goalkeeper debunks claim she’s a man and threatens to sue Jordanian for demanding a ‘gender verification check’

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Iranian goalkeeper, Zohreh Koudaei has denied claims she’s a man after Jordanian FA accused her of not being a woman. 

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Koudaei, 32, saved two penalties in a 4-2 shoot-out victory over Jordan in Uzbekistan on September 25, helping the Iranian women’s team qualified for its first-ever Women’s Asia Cup.

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But after the game, Jordan’s FA demanded ‘a gender verification check’ on Koudaei from the Asian Football Federation (AFC) over her performance. 

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Reacting to the claims, Koudaei today said emphatically: ‘I am a woman. This is bullying from Jordan.’

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‘I will sue the Jordan FA,’ she added, according to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. 

 

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The Jordan FA’s letter, dated November 5, cited doubts over the ‘eligibility of a participating player.’

 

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It also alleged that the Iranian women’s team ‘has a history with gender and doping issues’, and called for ‘due process’ to be followed.

 

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The President of Jordan’s FA, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, shared the letter on Saturday, calling it a ‘very serious issue if true’, and demanded that the AFC ‘please wake up’.

 

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A spokesman for the AFC said: ‘The AFC does not comment on ongoing investigations and/or proceedings, whether actual or potential.’ 

 

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The Iranian team manager denied the allegations, claiming that the Jordanian team, who were heavy favourites, were seeking an ‘excuse’ for losing the match. 

 

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Iran’s team coach, Maryam Irandoost, told sports news site Varzesh3 on Sunday: ‘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.’

 

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The coach said that Koudaei had previously represented her country in Asian Cup qualifiers in 2008 and 2010.

 

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‘We will provide any documentation that the Asian Confederation of Football wishes without wasting time,’ she added. 

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Irandoost said the accusation was being used to cover up for Jordan’s loss.

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‘These allegations are just an excuse not to accept the defeat against the Iranian women’s national team,’ she said.

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‘The Jordanian team considered themselves the big favourite to qualify… and when they lost… it was natural to seek relief under false pretences and to escape responsibility for this failure.’ 

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