The “Caitlyn” Jenner crowd might approve, but Iran’s football association is being accused of engaging in “unethical” behavior by including eight men on its national women’s soccer squad.
Is there nothing they won’t cheat at?
The soccer team claims that it’s on firm ground because all eight are simply waiting for their sex change operations — and surgical sex change is legal in the Islamic Republic.
“[Eight players] have been playing with Iran’s female team without completing sex change operations,” said Mojtabi Sharifi, an official close to the Iranian league, according to The Telegraph.
As a result, authorities reportedly ordered gender testing Wednesday of Iran’s entire national squad.
This isn’t the first time Iran has pulled this stunt. In 2010, the gender of the women’s team goal tender came under scrutiny. Last year, four team players turned out to be men who had either not undergone the surgery “or were suffering from sexual development disorders,” the Telegraph reported.
Although changing one’s sex contrasts sharply with Sharia law, sex change operations are legal in Iran thanks to a fatwa issued the the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1978, before the 1979 revolution that made him Iran’s supreme leader.
Such procedures are handled in stages in Iran, and generally take two years to complete.
The fatwa contrasts sharply with most of Iran’s laws regarding sexuality, which otherwise make it one of the most sexually repressive regines on the planet.
Last year, six Iranian students were sentenced to receive 91 lashes and up to one year of jail time. Their offense? Making a video of the three unveiled women and three men dancing to Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy.”
The Telegraph reported:
Football is highly popular among many Iranian women, despite religious rules that bar them from entering stadiums to watch matches between male teams.
Earlier this month the women’s national team captain was unable to fly with the squad to Malaysia because her husband refused her permission to fly.
“As a Muslim woman, I wanted to work for my country’s flag to be raised [at the games], rather than traveling for leisure and fun,” Niloufar Ardalan, 30, said at the time, according to The Telegraph.
“I wish authorities would create [measures] that would allow female athletes to defend their rights in such situations.”
It didn’t take long for word to get out on social media.
— Trending UK News (@UKolizer) October 1, 2015
@MirrorFootball is anyone even surprised by this?
— ArsenalMinutes (@ArsenalMinutes) October 1, 2015
If Iran has no problem cheating at soccer, why would anyone trust them not to continue developing a nuclear weapon?
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