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JFA cries foul over Iranian keeper’s sex

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Undated photo of the Iran women’s national football team. (Photo: Asian Football Confederation)
AMMAN — The Jordan Football Association (JFA) has called on the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to launch an investigation to determine the sex of a goalkeeper on the Iranian women’s football team.اضافة اعلان

For the first time, Iran qualified for the 2022 Women’s Asia Cup. This was after Iran beat Jordan 4–2 in penalties after a goalless draw on September 25.
On Sunday, HRH Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein, who is the president of the JFA tweeted a letter “requesting a gender verification check” for Zohreh Koudaei, the Iranian goalkeeper in question.

This went viral on Jordanian social media, causing many to make fun of Koudaei and use her as comedic material to be shared on various social media sites in Jordan.

Koudaei is 32-year-old football player who has represented the Iran national team at many sporting events. Koudaei plays for Zob Ahan Esfahan FC, and has been the captain of the team since 2009.

However, this is not the first time that Koudaei finds herself and her looks debated in the public sphere. She has previously expressed deep sadness at bullying she faced, when she called for equal rights for women, especially in sports, in an interview with Iranian media.

"We were teammates, and I lived with her (Koudaei) for over eight years. She's one of my closest friends, and she's someone you should get to know. She's also always been good at saving penalties," Kat Khosrowyar, the former head coach of the Iranian women’s team, tweeted.

The statement from the JFA noted that Iran has a history of offenses that included sex manipulation and doping, and noted the presence of transgender members on the team, which has yet to be proven.

The general consensus among football fans was that Koudaei faced the Jordanian players with courage and professionalism, defeating them on the field. She also shut down the sports commentator on Jordanian television who addressed her with male pronouns, and even sarcastically said, "I swear to God this Iranian goalkeeper is scary.”

The JFA told Jordan News they would not comment on the situation “until we receive a response from the AFC.”

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