Sports

Iranian coach rejects Jordan's protest over player's gender

Jordan's football association has called for investigation into Iranian player's gender

Syed Zafar Mehdi   | 16.11.2021
Iranian coach rejects Jordan's protest over player's gender

TEHRAN

Iranian women's football coach has taken strong umbrage at the Jordan Football Association's (JFA) complaint to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to investigate a player over her gender.

Maryam Irandoost, the coach of the Iranian women's national team, speaking to a local sports website on Tuesday said the speculation about the gender of the team goalkeeper, Zohreh Koudaei, was "an excuse for not accepting the defeat" against Iran.

Iran beat Jordan in the World Cup Qualifier on Sept. 25 to make way for the 2022 AFC Women's Asia Cup, a historic feat that triggered big celebrations in Iran.

Iranian team, despite starting as underdogs, ended Jordan's bid for a third successive appearance at the marque football event.

The match was decided on penalties after both sides failed to score goals, and it was Iran's goalkeeper who eventually guided her side home with crucial saves.

Less than two months after, Koudaei finds herself at the center of a controversy that is making headlines.

Ali Bin Al-Hussein, the head of JFA, on Saturday published a letter on Twitter, calling the AFC to investigate the Iranian player.

"Considering the evidence submitted by JFA and given the importance of this competition, we request the AFC to initiate a transparent and clear investigation by a panel of independent medical experts to investigate the eligibility of the player in question," read the letter.

Irandoost, however, rejected accusations that a man had infiltrated the national women's team.

Backing her star player, Irandoost said it is "natural" for Jordanians to "escape responsibility for the defeat," denouncing the move by the JFA to write to the AFC's disciplinary committee.

Iran's coach said the team management had been meticulous about medical tests of players, and the team's medical staff had "carefully examined each and every player for hormones and testosterone tests," urging supporters of the team "not to worry about it."

Meanwhile, there are unconfirmed reports that the Iranian woman goalkeeper has demanded $1 million in compensation from the JFA for character assassination and also threatened to file a lawsuit.

The reports, however, could not be independently confirmed.

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