Zohreh Koudaei saved two penalties during the shootout victory in September, with Jordan’s FA now appealing to the AFC to carry out an independent investigation over the player’s eligibility
Zohreh Joudaei was Iran’s hero saving two penalties in the Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers
Jordan have accused their fierce rivals Iran of playing a man in a women’s international and demanded a ‘gender verification check’.
Iran qualified for their first ever Women’s Asia Cup thanks to a thrilling 4-2 shoot-out victory over Jordan back in September.
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.
Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, who was previously vice president of FIFA has posted a letter which has been sent to the Asian Football Federation, in which a ‘gender verification check’ has been requested.
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The letter states that although it is not mandatory for participating players to go under such checks, the guidelines laid down by the AFC do reserve the right to “investigate and take appropriate measures if there is doubt on the eligibility of a participating player.
It goes on to suggest that given “the Iranian Women Football team has a history with gender and doping issues” an independent investigation should be conducted.
Ali bin al-Hussein, president of the Jordan FA added: “It’s a very serious issue if true. Please wake up AFC.”
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.
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Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein posted the letter which has been sent to the AFC
“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,” Irandoost told news site Varzesh3.
“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.”
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In 2015, the Iranian national team were accused of playing up to eight males awaiting sex changes, claims which remain unsubstantiated.
The football federation in Iran has previously said they will bring in random medical tests to confirm the genders of players representing the country.
A spokesman of the AFC said: “The AFC does not comment on ongoing investigations and/or proceedings, whether actual or potential.”
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