By Chris Wright
Please note: These are not the Iranian players in question
The Iranian Football Federation (FFIRI) are to make players in their professional women’s league undergo mandatory gender tests having had to expel four players from the women’s national team recently after it was established that they weren’t “fully female”.
Having faced accusations for several years, the FFIRI conducted spot checks and found that several prominent female players were not quite female enough, with the Daily Telegraph’s Middle East correspondent Robert Tait reporting that “several leading players, including four in the national women’s team, were either men who had not completed sex change operations, or were suffering from sexual development disorders.”
The FFIRI are now to intermittently send out medical examiners to turn up unannounced at training sessions to conduct gender tests on random players – also including those playing in the national indoor futsal leagues.
It is hoped the crackdown will spur teams into carrying out their own independent gender examinations before signing players to contracts, therefore avoiding any awkward conversations later on down the line.
Ahmad Hashemian, head of the FFIRI medical committee, said that those players unable to substantially prove their female gender will be barred from participating in the women’s game until they undergo medical treatment to resolve their condition.
“If these people can solve their problems through surgery and be in a position to receive the necessary medical qualifications, Dr Hashemian told Iranian news agency IRNA. “They will then be able to participate in [women's] football.”