An international female footballer has been accused of actually being a man.
Jordan has called for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to conduct an official investigation into Iran goalkeeper Zohreh Koudaei to determine her sex.
The serious accusations come not long after Iran beat Jordan in a penalty shootout in their 2022 Women’s Asian Cup qualifier back in September.
Iran ended up winning the shootout 4-2 with Koudaei emerging as the hero thanks to two brilliant saves.
The victory earned Iran’s women’s team its first 2022 Women’s Asian Cup appearance in history.
Now, a few months later, the president of the Jordan Football Association Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein has submitted a “request for gender verification” on shot stopper Koudaei, adding that it’s a “very serious issue if true”.
The allegations have made headlines in both Jordan and Iran with some people suggesting Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein is only crying for foul play because his team lost.
As for the Iranian national team, officials have been quick to leap to the defence of their player.
“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,” team selector Maryam Irandoost told Varzesh3.
“We will provide any documentation that the Asian Confederation of Football wishes without wasting time.”
She added: “These allegations are just an excuse not to accept the defeat against the Iranian women’s national team.
“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.”
In his open letter, the president of the Jordan Football Association claims Iran has a “history with gender and doping issues” too.
That said, it remains to be seen whether the AFC launches a probe into the matter with the upcoming Women’s Asian Cup set to kick off in just a few months times.