Jordan have accused their regional rivals Iran of playing a man in a women’s international and demanded a “gender verification check”.
Iran defeated Jordan 4-2 on penalties in September to qualify for their first-ever Women’s Asia Cup.
Zohreh Koudaei was the hero for Iran, saving two penalties, but is now facing calls to confirm her gender at the request of Jordan’s Football Association.
Former vice president of FIFA Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, who is the current president of the Jordan FA, has posted a letter which has been sent to the Asian Football Federation, in which a “gender verification check” has been requested.
Meanwhile, Koudaei (32), has defended herself several times over the years, with Iran’s team selector Maryam Irandoost claiming the letter is nothing more than an attempt to shift blame after an unexpected defeat. Irandoost told news site Varzesh3:
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.
These allegations are just an excuse not to accept the defeat against the Iranian women’s national team.
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.