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Most players on Iran’s women’s team are men: official

Iran’s soccer association has been blasted as “unethical” following bombshell reports that eight members of its women’s team are men.

Iranian women's national soccer team poses before withdrawing from their qualifying match against Jordan for the 2012 London Olympic Games in Amman in this June 3, 2011 file photograph. Iran will complain to world soccer's governing body FIFA after its women's team were banned from a qualifying game for next year's Olympics due to their Islamic dress, the ISNA news agency reported on Sunday. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji/Files  (JORDAN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER RELIGION)

“[Eight players] have been playing with Iran’s female team without completing sex change operations,” Mojtabi Sharifi, an official close to the Iranian league, told a local news website.

Officials have now ordered gender testing of the entire national squad and prominent league players, The Telegraph in the UK reported. The eight players have not been named.

The women’s team plays in hijab headscarves, long-sleeved jerseys and tracksuit pants.

This is not the first time the team has been involved in a gender scandal.

Last year, four national team players were found to be either men who had not completed sex change operations or were suffering from sexual development disorders. In 2010, the gender of the team’s goalkeeper was called into question.

Sex change operations have been legal in Iran since 1979, when the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a religious ruling, or fatwa, giving them the go-ahead. The law is in stark contrast to the Islamic republic’s strict rules around homosexuality and premarital sex.


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