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'I Am A Woman. This Is Bullying' - Iran Women's Goalkeeper Denies Claims That She Is A Man

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'I Am A Woman. This Is Bullying' - Iran Women's Goalkeeper Denies Claims That She Is A Man

Iran women's goalkeeper Zohreh Koudaei has accused the Jordanian FA of "bullying" after they called for the Asian Football Confederation [AFC] to conduct a 'gender verification check' following a game.

Back in September, during a Women's Asian Cup qualifier against Jordan, shot-stopper Koudaei pulled off two great saves as Maryam Irandoost's side defeated their opponents in a tense penalty shootout.

The 31-year-old's heroics helped Iran secure their place in the Women's Asian Cup for the first time in their history.

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But months later, the clash has hit the headlines again after Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein, president of the Jordan Football Association, submitted a "request for gender verification" on Koudaei.

In his submission, Al-Hussein stated that while gender verification isn't mandatory, there is a provision that allows countries to request a player be checked for their sex.

He also said that it is a "very serious issue if true" and shared further correspondence with the AFC on 5 November.

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Koudaei has since denied the claims against her, saying she will now take legal action against the Jordan FA.

In an interview with Turkish publication Hurriyet, she said: "I am a woman. This is bullying from Jordan. I will sue the Jordan FA."

Iran officials, meanwhile, have defended Koudaei following the serious allegations.

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"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," team selector Maryam Irandoost told 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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A spokesman for the Asian Football Confederation [AFC] has said: "The AFC does not comment on ongoing investigations and/or proceedings, whether actual or potential."

Topics: Football, Women's Football

Jack Kenmare
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