Iranian women’s football team goalkeeper accused by Jordan Football Association of being a man


The Jordanian Football Association has demanded a ‘gender verification check’ from Iranian Zohreh Koudaei as she claims she is not a woman.

Zohreh Koudaei
© mediotiempoZohreh Koudaei

In what seemed like a routine football game turned into a strange set of events and accusations from the Jordanian Football Association. On September 25, Iran beat Jordan in Uzbekistan on penalties 4-2. On that day, Iranian goalkeeper Zohreh Koudaei made two saves and Iran qualified for their first Women’s Asian Cup.

After the match, the Jordanian Football Association spoke informally with the Asian Football Federation and raised questions about Koudaei’s gender. Then, on November 5, the JFA officially sent a letter to the AFC, citing doubts about Zohreh Koudaei’s gender and accusing Iran of having “a story with gender and doping issues.”

The JFA asked the AFC “launch a transparent and clear inquiry by a panel of independent medical experts to investigate the eligibility of the player in question and other squad members.” Zohreh Koudaei has since responded to the allegations and said she will “sue the Jordan FA… I am a woman. This is intimidation from Jordan. Here are more statements and details about the charges against Zohreh Koudaei.

Zohreh Koudaei may be subject to a ‘gender verification check’

Jordan Football Association sent request to AFC for Koudaei to undergo ‘gender verification check’, to which Iranian coach Maryam Irandoost, spoke with Varzesh3 stating that the team “has carefully screened every national team player in terms of hormones to avoid any problems in this regard, and so I say to all fans not to worry.”

Zohreh Koudaei has been playing for the Iranian national team since 2007 and while pressure mounted from the JFA, the AFC said “The AFC does not comment on ongoing investigations and/or proceedings, whether actual or potential.”

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