Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Iranian women football players to undergo sex testing to establish that they are fully female

Footballers in Iran's professional women's league are to undergo mandatory gender tests to establish that they are fully female.

The country's football governing body is bringing in the random checks after it was revealed 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. Gender change operations are legal in Iran according to a fatwa - or religious ruling - pronounced by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, spiritual leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution. The law contrasts with the strict rules governing sexual morality under the country's Sharia legal code, which forbids homosexuality and pre-marital sex.

Medical examiners will turn up unannounced at training sessions of teams playing in Iran's women's premier league, as well as those playing in the indoor league, known as footsal. Ahmad Hashemian, head of the Iranian football federation's medical committee, said the clubs themselves were now obliged to carry out medical examinations to establish the gender of their players before signing them on contracts. Those unable to prove they are female would be barred from taking part in the women's leagues until they underwent medical treatment, he said.

"If these people can solve their problems through surgery and be in a position to receive the necessary medical qualifications, they will then be able to participate in [women's] football," Mr Hashemian, a qualified doctor, said. Sex changes are commonly carried out in phases in Iran, with the full procedure taking up to two years and including hormone therapy before the full gender transformation is completed. Seven players have already had their contracts terminated under the federation's gender test directive. Football is highly popular among many Iranian women, despite religious rules that bar them from entering stadiums to watch matches between male teams.


Insolitus said...

I read an article about the sex reassignment surgeries in Iran a few years ago. The word does not mean the same thing there as it means here in the west. I'm sure the western style operations are available for the wealthy, but often sex change only means the removal of male genitalia with no hormone treatment. This explains why statistically Iranian surgeons outperform everyone else so massively in this field. Also, the patients are often gay men who are more or less forced to undergo the operation by their families, against their own wishes. Castrated and forced to live as a woman in Iran? A living nightmare if there ever was one.

While I understand it's not fair to have physiologically male players in a female football league, I suspect this rule will create a few more unwilling eunuchs wearing headscarfs in the theocratic paradise of Iran.

WilliamRocket said...

I was going to make a funny comment, but I can't now.