The Men, Women, And Not Quite Women Playing For Iran’s Women Football Team

by
Sameera Ehteram
One could never imagine that a conservative country like Iran has a women’s football team, but it does. The only problem is that not all of them are entirely females – not yet at least. In fact, four of them are still men.

 

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One could never imagine that a conservative country like Iran has a women’s football team, but it does.

The only problem is that not all of them are entirely females – not yet at least. In fact, four of them are still men.

Gender realignment surgery is common in Iran. In fact it was decreed to be legal by the spiritual founder of the Islamic state, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomein himself.

Since a sex change takes place over a period of time, these four players are in the process of becoming women.

The law is in stark contrast to the strict rules of Iran’s Sharia (religious) code, which forbids homosexuality and pre-marital sex. It also enforces dressing modestly and public segregation.

Women's football in Iran started in 1970 with the players initially taking part in some men's football games. It continued to grow until the Iranian revolution in 1979.

However, it rebounded back in 1993 but was played  behind closed doors and renamed ‘Footsal’.

The sport continues to grow even today. Players usually train with the Islamic veil in a stadium but are not allowed in at the same time as men.

After the recent discovery of men (or not yet women) in the team, players in Iran's professional women's football league will now be subjected to mandatory gender tests by medical inspectors.

Clubs will also have to perform gender tests before signing new players to contracts.

Those unable to prove they are females will be barred from taking part until their treatment and transition is complete.

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