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Jordan calls on AFC to check sex of goalkeeper

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Iran’s Zahra Hatamnejad (left) fights for the ball with Singapore’s Priscilla Tan Hui Yee during the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2018 qualifier in Hanoi in 2017. AFP

Jordan calls on AFC to check sex of goalkeeper

Jordan has called on the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to launch an investigation to determine the sex of a goalkeeper on the Iranian women’s football team, with Tehran denying foul play.

Iran beat Jordan 4-2 on penalties after a goalless draw on September 25 to qualify for the 2022 Women’s Asian Cup for the first time in its history.

The president of the Jordan Football Association, Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein, tweeted on Sunday a letter “requesting a gender verification check” on the Iranian player in question, suggesting that the keeper was a man posing as a woman.

Hussein described it as “a very serious issue if true”, and called on the AFC to “please wake up”.

But Iran team’s selector, Maryam Irandoost, dismissed the allegation.

“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 sports news site Varzesh3 on Sunday.

“We will provide any documentation that the Asian Confederation of Football wishes without wasting time.”

Iranian goalkeeper Zohreh Koudaei blocked two goal attempts by the Jordanian team, resulting in Iran’s qualification.

The Jordan Football Association’s letter, dated November 5, cited doubts over the “eligibility of a participating player”.

It also alleged that the Iranian women’s team “has a history with gender and doping issues”, and called for “due process” to be followed.

Irandoost said the accusation was being used to cover up for Jordan’s loss.

“These allegations are just an excuse not to accept the defeat against the Iranian women’s national team,” she said.

“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.”

The 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup is set to kick off in India in January.

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