‘This Is Bullying’: Iranian Women’s Soccer Team Goalie Accused of Being a Man

Iranian Soccer
i24 News

Zohreh Koudaei, the 32-year-old goalie for the Iranian national women’s soccer team, has been an unstoppable force in the game. But now, some wonder if Koudaei is actually a man, and demands for a gender check have been made even as the player accuses opponents of “bullying.”

The latest call for gender verification for Koudaei came from Jordan’s Football Association after the Iranian saved two penalties in a 4-2 shootout giving the Iranians the win over Jordan.

The win sent the Iranian women to qualify for the Women’s Asian Cup for the first time.

But after the game, Jordan’s team demanded verification from the Asian Football Federation (AFC), the Daily Mail reported.

Jordan sent a letter to the organization expressing doubts over the “eligibility of a participating player.”

Koudaei, seen at the far right in the tweet below, towers over teammates:

Despite the accusations, though, Koudaei has condemned the calls for a gender check.

“I am a woman. This is bullying from Jordan,” Koudaei said, according to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. “I will sue the Jordan FA.”

The Asian Football Federation says it cannot comment on internal matters.

Despite Iran’s strict Muslim laws against homosexuality, sex changes have been legal there since the mid-1980s.

Still, the Iranian team denies that Koudaei is secretly a man. Iranian coach Maryam Irandoost said that the team would supply any proof required, saying, “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.”

“We will provide any documentation that the Asian Confederation of Football wishes without wasting time,” the coach added.

Irandoost further alleged that the demands from Jordan are merely sour grapes because they expected to have Iran’s spot in the coming cup games.

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